The Arizona Cardinals’ 2022 season has been somewhere between disappointing and disastrous with their 3-6 start through nine games. They are in last place in the NFC West, trailing the division-leading Seattle Seahawks by three games, and the Seahawks also hold a head-to-head tiebreaker over Arizona because of their season sweep over them.
However, because there are seven playoff spots and the NFC is sort of a mess, the Cardinals are still very much in the mix for a wild-card berth.
Yes, the Cardinals are currently 13th in the NFC, but they are only one win behind the San Francisco 49ers, who are currently the No. 7 seed.
NFC playoff standings entering Week 10
- Philadelphia Eagles, 8-0
- Minnesota Vikings, 7-1
- Seattle Seahawks, 6-3
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4-5
- Dallas Cowboys, 6-2
- New York Giants, 6-2
- San Francisco 49ers, 4-4
- Atlanta Falcons, 4-5
- Washington Commanders, 4-5
- Los Angeles Rams, 3-5
- New Orleans Saints, 3-6
- Green Bay Packers, 3-6
- Arizona Cardinals 3-6
- Chicago Bears, 3-6
- Detroit Lions, 2-6
- Carolina Panthers, 2-7
Five teams are between the 49ers and Cardinals, but let’s go crazy.
The Falcons lost to the Panthers on Thursday and are now 4-6. The Packers play the 6-2 Cowboys. The Saints play the Steelers. The Rams and Cardinals play each other this week. The Commanders face the undefeated Eagles. The 49ers play the Chargers.
The Cardinals hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Saints, face the Rams this week and still have a game against the Falcons and two against the 49ers.
If the Cardinals beat the Rams and improve to 4-6, they would move ahead of the Rams, who would be 3-5.
If the Commanders lose to the Eagles (very possible) and the Cowboys beat the Packers (also quite possible), the Cardinals would match their records.
If the 49ers lose to the Chargers (possible), they fall to 4-5.
If the Cardinals win and all that happens, they would be in a position to leapfrog San Francisco when the two teams play in Mexico City Monday night in Week 11.
The Rams are awful offensively. Matthew Stafford might not play.
The Cardinals are playing better offensively but have injury issues on the offensive line.
As badly as things have gone for the Cardinals, because of the state of the NFC, competing for the postseason is still not off the table.
It starts with a win over the Rams. If they can’t do that, it won’t matter. But if they do, the playoffs are still in reach.
This is the sliver of light Cardinals fans need to keep hope alive.