Playoff appearance hanging in balance for Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals are sitting in the seventh and final position of the National Football Conference’s playoff picture

No one said it was going to be easy for the Arizona Cardinals. For those who are counting, it’s been five long years since the organization has made a postseason appearance. The Cards would actually put an end to that playoff drought if the 2020 campaign came to a close right now, but there are still six games remaining on the schedule.

As things stand at the moment, Arizona holds the seventh and final postseason spot in the National Football Conference. Just one year ago, the club would’ve been just short of making the playoffs with the record (6-4) they have now. Back in March, the NFL announced that they were adding one more playoff slot to each conference, a change that could potentially benefit the Cards when the season comes to a conclusion.

Thanks to a victory by the Los Angeles Rams on Monday night (a 27-24 decision over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers), the Cardinals have dropped to third place in the ultra-competitive NFC West. Just last week, head coach Kliff Kingsbury‘s squad was on top of the division after a heart-thumping 32-30 triumph over the Buffalo Bills on November 15th. The Cards were knocked off of that perch last Thursday night, when the Seattle Seahawks handed Big Red a 28-21 defeat.

The top seed in the conference belongs to the New Orleans Saints, who lead the NFC South with an 8-2 mark. The second seed belongs to the 7-3 Rams, who may very well be the most well-rounded squad in the NFC West. The NFC North-leading Green Bay Packers are the third seed with a 7-3 record, while the 3-6-1 Philadelphia Eagles are the fourth seed thanks to their ownership of the top spot in the pathetic NFC East.

Sitting in the fifth seed are the Seattle Seahawks, who have compiled a 7-3 record. The sixth seed in the NFC belongs to the 7-4 Buccaneers, who are led this year by a combination of Bruce Arians and Tom Brady.

A road win over the New England Patriots this coming Sunday would allow Arizona to keep pace with the competition in the conference. Securing a division championship is still a possibility for the Redbirds, but last week’s loss to Seattle certainly diminished those hopes. A Wild Card berth is the best bet for the Cardinals as they enter week 12, but even that is far from a guarantee.