The Arizona Cardinals are a team on the rise and with the news that the NFL is planning to expand the postseason it could bring playoffs sooner
The Arizona Cardinals improved by 2.5 games in 2019 but certainly had a chance to improve much more and win as many as 9 or 10 games. Had that happened, they may have found themselves fighting for a playoff spot under the new postseason proposal expected to come to fruition in 2020.
The NFL is expected to approve a move that would add a 7th team to the postseason, starting with the upcoming season. The proposed move is expected under the new CBA with players.
The 7th place team in the NFC in 2019 was the 9-7 Los Angeles Rams. Certainly it could be argued they may have competed well in the postseason.
In the AFC, the Pittsburgh Steelers were the 7th place team at 8-8. It could be argued they would not have made a good playoff team.
The Cardinals would have made the playoffs under the new system back in 2013. They finished 10-6 in 2013 and out of the playoffs. The 6th place team that season was the 11-5 New Orleans Saints.
Speaking of 11-5, remember the year the Cardinals went to the Super Bowl in 2008, winning the NFC West at 9-7? That was the same season the New England Patriots finished 11-5 and didn’t make the playoffs at all.
The Cardinals, if they were to improve another 3-4 games in 2020, could be fighting for that 7th spot (or even better). Some will argue the extra spot dilutes the playoff caliber field. It will give hope to younger, less experienced teams like the Cardinals.
However it certainly would give more excitement to a number of teams who just miss every year. The new playoff system would also reduce the number of byes to one per conference.
If it means one more playoff spot available, then we should be all for it. Look at the excitement brought on in MLB starting in 2012 when they added an extra team to the postseason in each league. The wild card race is just that now every season, wild.