Hey there. You look familiar, but I haven't seen you in the last week or two. Find a seat, there should be some available still. Welcome back to the Cardinals bandwagon.
After 2 straight losses so many people jumped off the bandwagon that there was an earthquake felt in Sedona. While things did look bleak, the team was able to right the ship and get a victory against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Keys to the Victory
Larry playing seemed to bring the offense back on track. He made some early catches which seemed to help Drew Stanton calm down and get in a rhythm. Larry's presence also seemed to draw the attention of the defense, helping the other receivers to get open.
Who? He rushed for 100 yards for the team. He was drafted in 2013 by the Indianapolis Colts. That is where his relationship with Arians began. He spent the week on the practice squad acting as Jamaal Charles until Arians knew he was going to play a huge role for the team this weekend. In his postgame press conference he said that Williams was the only player on the practice field over the last few weeks making people go "Wow".
Alex continued his breakout season with a sack and an interception that helped turn the momentum in favor of the Cardinals. He made big plays and helped put consistent pressure on Alex Smith. He was part of a unit that had 5 sacks on the day.
A look at the Playoffs
This weekend went a long way in helping the Cardinals clinch a playoff spot. At 10-3, the Cardinals are currently the 1 seed in the NFC. They have a 1 game lead in the division over the Seattle Seahawks and a 3 game lead over San Francisco after they loss to the lowly Oakland Raiders. The entire picture however is still quite unclear.
If the Cardinals end up with the same record as the Eagles, Lions, or Cowboys, the Cardinals would clinch the wild card position due to beating all of these teams already this season. If it comes down to the last wild card spot, being tied with the Packers, the Cardinals currently have an advantage due to conference record. The Cardinals are 7-2 in conference while the Packers are 6-3.
At this point, for the Cardinals not to make the playoffs, they would have to lose the division lead to the Seahawks and finish with 2 less wins in the next 3 games than the runners up in the NFC East and North. So with an additional victory on Thursday, the Cardinals would clinch a playoff berth with a loss by any of those teams. The 49ers also have a shot to surpass the Cardinals, but it would take 3 wins by them and 3 losses by the Cardinals, leaving both teams at 10-6. Considering the Niners just lost to the Raiders, that doesn’t seem likely.
So we are in a good position, and this win shows that the team can still win a game with Drew Stanton. These next few weeks should be a lot of fun to watch, but will be even better if the team can keep winning and get a first round bye. And just once more for good measure, the San Francisco 49ers lost to the Oakland Raiders.