Cardinals are playoff bound thanks to Kirk Cousins and the Vikings

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /

Despite their loss on Saturday night, the Arizona Cardinals are heading to the playoffs for the first time since 2015 after the Minnesota Vikings lost on Sunday.

Two weeks ago, the Arizona Cardinals were kept out of the playoffs after a loss in a Monday night matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. Well, on Sunday, the Rams actually helped the Cardinals earn a trip to the postseason by defeating the Minnesota Vikings.

With Los Angeles getting a 30-23 win over Kirk Cousins and the Vikings on Sunday, Arizona is now heading to the playoffs for the first time since the 2015 season.

The Rams‘ win also gives them the lead in the NFC West, so even though the Cardinals have clinched a spot in the postseason, they are currently the No. 5 seed with two games left on their schedule.

Arizona Cardinals would be a wild-card team if the 2021 playoffs started today

If the current season were to come to a close after all of the Week 16 games were played, Arizona would be heading out on the road to take on the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys in the opening round of the 2021 playoffs.

Like the Cardinals, the Cowboys began the year as one of the hottest teams in the NFL, winning six of their first seven games. But since then, Dallas is 4-3 and they’ve proven that they are more than capable of being defeated.

Of course, Arizona has lost four of their last six matchups themselves, so it’s not like they should be overly confident about a potential playoff game against the Cowboys either.

If the Cowboys do actually end up being the Cardinals’ opponent in the first round of the postseason, we’ll get a preview of this matchup when the two teams face off next week inside Dallas’ AT&T Stadium.

If Arizona finds a way to get a win next week and in Week 18 over the Seattle Seahawks, there’s a chance that they could actually end up with a first-round playoff game on their home field if they win the NFC West. But that would also require the Rams to lose at least one of their final two matchups.

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For now, we can at least say there will be additional Cardinals football following the 18th and final week of the 2021 regular season.