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USA Today projects the Cardinals to go 10-6, but fail to make the playoffs

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) passes to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, right, during the second half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016, in Seattle. The Cardinals won 34-31. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Bruce Arians has failed to win 10 games just once in his four year tenure with the Cardinals — 2016.

Last season, Arizona finished with a disappointing 7-8-1 record and some, including Vegas oddsmakers, believe the Arians-led Cardinals will fail to hit the double-digit mark again in 2017.

USA Today’s Nate Davis projects the Cardinals to go 10-6, but writes that record will not be good enough to get the Cardinals to the playoffs.

They’ve got a special, special player in David Johnson. But will Carson Palmer and Tyrann Mathieu max out their abilities again? And how long can Larry Fitzgerald (league-high 107 catches), who will be 34 next month, handle such a heavy workload? (NOTE: In our projection, the Cardinals failed to earn a wild card based on a worse conference record than the Giants or Buccaneers.)

If Davis’ projection comes to fruition, it wouldn’t be the first instance that the Cardinals missed the postseason with 10 wins, as they did so in 2013, Arians’ first with the team.

But unlike 2013, when the 49ers and Saints grabbed the two Wild Card spots with 12 and 11 wins, respectively, Davis predicts the Giants and Bucs will notch the last two playoff spots with 10 wins apiece, the same as Arizona.

It would be the fifth time since moving to Arizona that the Cardinals would get double-digit wins and the second time they would do so without making the playoffs.

Since 1978, 22 teams have won 10 plus games without making the postseason, and only the Giants, Redskins, Broncos and Patriots have done it more than once.

Other Notables 

Davis projects the Seahawks to edge out the Cardinals by one game, finishing with an 11-5 record.

He also has the Patriots avenging their 2007 finish by completing the 19-0 perfect season with a Super Bowl victory over the Packers.

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