The Arizona Cardinals continue to play dangerously, but they're still alive for one of the final two playoff spots in the NFC. But they're not even close to controlling their own fate despite winning six of their last seven games.
First Arizona has to win out. They have to go to Cincinnati and beat a Bengals team fighting for the final playoff spot in the AFC. Then they must beat Seattle in what could be a wild-card elimination game, as both teams could be 8-7 going into that contest.
That's not all they need. The Cards also need either the Atlanta Falcons or Detroit Lions to start dropping football games. Both the Falcons and Lions stand at 9-5 and should clinch with one victory by each of them. The Falcons do have to play at New Orleans but also have a home date against Tampa Bay.
The Lions have a tougher go of it against San Diego and Green Bay, so the Cardinals need to probably win out and hope the Lions stumble toward the finish. Unfortunately for Arizona, the Packers lost their chance at an undefeated season and suffered a few injuries in their loss to Kansas City. That sets up a final week match up between the the Lions and Packers with only the Lions having something to play for.
It's a long shot for the Cardinals to sneak in to the playoffs but at least the discussion is worth having. After going 1-6 to start the season that didn't seem possible.
For more on the Cardinals and their playoff hopes, head to Revenge of the Birds.