The Arizona Cardinals must be feeling pretty satisfied following their upset win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. But what the players themselves may not even have realized is just how much they helped their own chances at making the playoffs with that win.
As inconceivable as it may seem, the Cardinals are now in ninth place overall in the NFC with a 6-7 record. The top six teams from each conference earn playoff berths. At the moment, there are only two teams separating the Cardinals from the top six: the Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago Bears, both of whom own 7-6 records.
The Cardinals have three games remaining, all against beatable teams. On Sunday, they'll host the Cleveland Browns. In Week 16 they will visit the Cincinnati Bengals, then wrap up the season back at home against the Seattle Seahawks. If the Cards manage to win all three games, they'll possess a 9-7 record. Combine that with some losses for Chicago and Dallas -- both teams who are far from dominant -- and Arizona may wind up in the postseason in 2011. It will be extremely interesting to see how these next few weeks play out.
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