Playoffs? Is it too early to start talking about the playoffs?
If the season ended today…
Lot’s of articles of this caliber start that way and this is really no different, its really nice to look at the season with rose colored glasses on, if the season ended today, we’d be this or we’d be that, but there is still a lot of games to play (half of them, actually) but it never hurts to take a look at where you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re going.
The Arizona Cardinals sit as 6-2, two games ahead of both St. Louis and Seattle in the NFC West. With Green Bay’s loss to Carolina over the weekend the Cardinals, Packers and Vikings are tied with the second best record in the conference, with Atlanta at 6-3 coming up just behind, but trailing Carolina by two games.
The Packers currently control the second seed with the tie breakers falling in their favor, however the Cardinals and Packers play later this season in, what could be, an important match-up for seeding in the NFC. The current NFC seeds are:
- Green Bay
- New York Giants
IF the playoffs started today the Cardinals would miss the bye and play the Falcons in the Wild Card Round. Again, still a lot of football to play and the Eagles, right now, are only a game behind the Giants after the win last night. The Giants beat the Bucs, Atlanta lost to the 49ers and the Vikings beat the Rams.
The upcoming schedule for the team has nearly finished up their trip around the AFC with only a game against the currently undefeated Bengals on Sunday Night Football in two weeks. From then on its NFC for the rest of the season, with several key match-ups including the Vikings, Packers and two against the Seahawks which could determine the overall NFC West and seeding in the conference.
At the very least the Cardinals need to maintain a high conference record for not only making the wild card, but seeding as well.
Of the Cardinals remaining eight games, half are at home, half are away. Three games are against team’s with winning records (Vikings, Packers, Bengals), four at .500 (Seahawks (x2), Rams, Eagles) and one against a team with a losing record (San Francisco). The schedule doesn’t do the team any favors.
By my estimates, the Cardinals need to win 11 games to win the division, beating Seattle at least once, if not both times and need to win two out of three against the Vikings, Packers and Bengals. Beating San Francisco needs to happen as well to reach 11.