Arizona Cardinals were robbed of playoff spot back in 2013

(Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) Bruce Arians
(Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) Bruce Arians /

The 10 victories recorded by the Arizona Cardinals back in 2013 were not enough to get the franchise back in the playoffs.

As the Arizona Cardinals embarked on the 2013 campaign, one of the club’s obvious goals was to make their first postseason appearance in four years.

Making it to the playoffs would be far from an easy task. Bruce Arians, the new head coach of the Cardinals, was inheriting a team that went 5-11 in 2012. The organization also had a problem at the quarterback position, an issue that would need to be addressed by Arizona’s front office.

New general manager Steve Keim solved the signal-caller dilemma with one heck of a trade. For the price of a measly sixth-round draft choice, the Cards were able to land the extremely capable Carson Palmer. Keim had given Arians something to work with, and the offense would benefit highly from the savvy acquisition.

There was optimism surrounding the Cardinals as they entered week one, but the Arians-Palmer era did not get off to a great start. The Redbirds went on the road to meet the St. Louis Rams, but they ended up on the wrong end of a 27-24 decision.

After a shaky 3-4 start in 2013, the Cards would win seven out of their next eight matchups. The year ended on a sour note at home, however, when the San Francisco 49ers handed Arizona a 23-20 defeat.

Unfair rules keep a very good Arizona Cardinals squad out of the postseason

When all was said and done, the Cardinals had finished the campaign with a very respectable 10-6 record. In most instances, double-digit wins would result in a playoff appearance for the team that achieves that accomplishment.

In the Cards’ case, however, it wasn’t to be. The 10 triumphs only qualified them for a third-best finish in the NFC West. Both the Seattle Seahawks (13-3) and the 49ers (12-4) won more contests than Arizona that year.

Adding insult to injury was the fact that the 8-7-1 Green Bay Packers, despite registering two less victories than the Cardinals, got an invitation to the postseason. That injustice was based on the fact that the Packers won the NFC North in 2013, while the Cards finished just one spot out of the basement in their own division.

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As unfair as it seems, those are the rules that the NFL has employed for quite some time. Arizona was a very good football squad back in 2013. Unfortunately, a questionable playoff system prevented the Cardinals from making what could’ve been quite an interesting Super Bowl run.