Is this the biggest regular-season game in Arizona Cardinals history?
Fun debate topic throughout the week: Is this the biggest regular-season game in the history of the Arizona Cardinals?
My answer: Give me a month.
Now I’ll spend the next few paragraphs defending why that’s not a “straddle-the-fence” answer.
As it stands now, there will never be a game in the regular season more important than a Week 17 victory that puts a team in the playoffs. If memory serves, Jake Plummer and the Arizona Cardinals beat the Chargers in Week 17 to set up the playoff upset of the Dallas Cowboys. When winning or losing one game determines whether or not you’re a playoff team during the last week of the regular season, that’s the biggest game.
Obviously, it sounds like I just gave you an answer: The Seahawks/Cardinals game on Sunday night is not the biggest regular season game in Arizona Cardinals history.
Well, that is the answer…for now.
If the Arizona Cardinals win on Sunday, I think they’re going to the Super Bowl.
If the Cardinals lose on Sunday, I think they lose to the Saints in the first round.
This is not a Super Bowl guarantee. Any playoff team can come into University of Phoenix Stadium and beat an 8-0-at-home Cardinals team — I just don’t think they will. A win over Seattle on Sunday proves the UofP magic is real and adds to the players’ confidence when playing at home. Home games versus road games dramatically affect the play of a first-team quarterback, let alone a second-string, third-string or fourth-string quarterback.
If you buy what I’m selling, no regular season game could possibly be bigger than Sunday. If one regular season game actually determines a Super Bowl participant, that’s the biggest regular season game in a franchise’s history.
I stand firmly on the ground — not the fence — that there’s no way to tell whether or not this is the biggest regular season game in Cards’ history until we see how the playoffs shake out. I have to be right that the Cards won’t lose a home playoff game for Seattle/Arizona to be the biggest. A home playoff loss would prove earning home-field wasn’t as important as I thought it was. In that scenario, Sunday’s game would clearly rank below the win against San Diego in 1998.
If the Cardinals make it to the Super Bowl as a wild-card, that would prove Sunday’s game as a tad overhyped. I’m not picking the Cards to win at least two and possibly three road playoff games. Doing that, however, flies in the face of Sunday Night Football being even remotely important, especially if one of the wins is in Seattle.
If the Cardinals play three post-season games at home, the biggest regular season game in the history of the Arizona Cardinals “was” this Sunday.