NFL Week 15 was full of surprises starting with the Colts getting their first win of the season. Then the Green Bay Packers perfect season came to a screeching halt. And I am going to explain how that impacts the Arizona Cardinals in just a little bit, but as always here are my thoughts on the Cardinals.
Resilient. When thinking of one word to describe the Arizona Cardinals I thought that fit best.
They aren't perfect in any phase, but they are finding ways to win football games.
The Cardinals trailed 17-7 to the Browns. The Cardinals trailed 19-7 to the 49ers. The Cardinals trailed 13-6 to the Cowboys. The Cardinals trailed 10-3 to the Rams. The Cardinals trailed 14-7 to the Eagles. The Cardinals trailed 13-6 to the Rams.
The Cardinals came back and won every single one of those games. The Cardinals were at one point 1-6 and have battled back all the way to 7-7.
Being a resilient football team will only take you so far. What we saw Sunday when the Denver Broncos were smoked by the New England Patriots was the perfect example of that. To become a real threat to win the NFC West and reach higher goals in the future I need to be able to describe the Cardinals with another word.
One side of the ball already has it, the defense is consistent and I believe will continue to be a strength for the foreseeable future. When will the offense get up to the defenses speed or to an acceptable level?
You can only get so far sneaking out games with special teams and in the second half. To complete with top echelon teams your offense has to have the ability to score 30 points every Sunday. The Cardinals are not there yet.
7-7 is nice. The potential and real possibility of being 9-7 is fantastic. Playoffs have gone from a pipe dream to at least a thought.
The Cardinals proved to be a resilient bunch no matter how this season plays out. In the long term resilient is not good enough. Resilient and consistent is what the Cardinals need to be.
Green Bay Packers Upset By The Kansas City Chief
When I said I was confident the Cardinals would make the playoffs if they finished the season 9-7 I assumed the Green Bay Packers would go into the final game of the season 15-0. This would have given the Packers something to play for, not in the standings or playoff seeding, but history. I don't think Mike McCarthy could have looked his team in the eye if they didn't go all out against the Detroit Lions Week 17 if they were 15-0.
Well, the Packers are not going to be 15-0. They shockingly fell to the Kansas City Chiefs 19-14. Green Bay will no longer have anything left to play for Week 17 and I would be shocked if they did not use that game to get healthy. This leaves the Detroit Lions, who I expect to lose next week to the San Diego Chargers going up against the Packers second string. It's not out of the question, but I now think it is unlikely the Cardinals get into the playoffs even if they finish 9-7.