Arizona Cardinals: Potential divisional round opponents
There are 3 possible teams the Arizona Cardinals could face in their divisional round match up.
With the NFL post season set to begin just hours from now, many Arizona Cardinals will be glued to their televisions to take in all the action. Quarterback Carson Palmer said he plans to watch all the games and that his daughter will be right next to him coloring. While the AFC wild card round is played today, it’s tomorrow’s NFC playoffs that are the most important for the Cardinals. The Arizona Cardinals finished the regular season at 13-3 and finished with the number 2 seed. This means that they will be playing the highest remaining seed at home next week.
The Arizona Cardinals could host the Minnesota Vikings, Washington Redskins or the Green Bay Packers next week.
The Minnesota Vikings are hosting the Seattle Seahawks in a game where it seems the weather has been talked about more than the game itself. If the Vikings beat the Seahawks the Cardinals will host the Vikings next Saturday in a rematch of their Week 14 match up. The Arizona Cardinals won that game 23-20 after the Cardinal defense was able to force a turnover and prevent the Vikings from kicking a game tying field goal. This could be a favorable match up for the Arizona Cardinals as they have already played the Vikings (a very injured Vikings team that is) and also did an excellent job in shutting down All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson.
The Washington Redskins host the Green Bay Packers. While Washington has the worst record among NFC playoff teams, they are one of the hottest teams in the league right now and are playing their best football at the right time of the year. Led by quarterback Kirk Cousins, the Redskins are looking to win their first playoff game in 10 years. Carson Palmer said that he hopes to play the Redskins because the Cardinals haven’t played them this season. The Cardinals will play the Redskins is if the Seahawks beat the Vikings.
As stated above, the Green Bay Packers will travel to the nation’s capital to take on the Redskins. Arguably, the Packers could be the worst team heading into the postseason. After starting the season 6-0 the Packers went 4-6 to finish the season. The Arizona Cardinals thrashed the Packers in Week 16 to clinch a first round bye. In that game, the Arizona Cardinals’ defense sacked Aaron Rodgers 9 times and also forced 3 fumbles, with two of these being returned for touchdowns.
This would be another favorable match up for the Cardinals as they clearly had the Packers number in their meeting just two weeks ago. On Wednesday, Bruce Arians mentioned that he already had 38 plays ready if they were to face the Packers right then and there. The Cardinals would play the Packers if the Seahawks beat the Vikings.
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As of now, I predict that the Cardinals will play the Redskins in the divisional round as the Packers are just limping into the playoffs. While the Vikings are on a three game win streak heading into the playoffs, the Seahawks are one of, if not the most dangerous teams heading into wild card round.
The Arizona Cardinals play next Saturday (1/16) at 6:15 PM Arizona time (8:15 PM EST) on NBC.