VINCE MAROTTA

Are the Arizona Cardinals the best team in the NFC?

Dec 28, 2013, 3:00 AM | Updated: 3:01 am

The Arizona Cardinals find themselves in a weird spot.

While having arguably the best team they’ve had in the 26 seasons since moving to the Valley from St. Louis in 1988, there’s a great chance they’ll be watching this year’s postseason from their couches.

At 10-5, the Cardinals need to beat the San Francisco 49ers and root for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to beat the New Orleans Saints Sunday. If both things don’t happen, the Cardinals will be left out of “the dance”, as their head coach Bruce Arians refers to it, even though they’d have 11 wins.

Despite the situation in front of his team, defensive end Calais Campbell believes in his team.

“I mean, in my opinion, we’re the best team in the NFC,” he said Thursday on NFL Network’s NFL AM. “But I hope we get into the playoffs so we can show it, because going 11-5 — but you don’t make it to the playoffs — nobody really knows. The only teams we talk about are the playoff teams. So we really hope we get a chance to get in. I know if we do, we will do some damage.”

Admittedly, a lot still has to transpire for the Cardinals to win their 11th game of the season and still be left out in the postseason cold. The 49ers bring a current league-high five-game winning streak with them to Glendale.

But you can certainly make an argument that Campbell is right. The Cardinals have won seven of their last eight games. Their only loss in this stretch came in Philadelphia and the officiating in that game was a popular subject of discussion around the league the next day.

Let’s examine Campbell’s claim a little further — here’s what the résumés of the best teams in the NFC look like over the last eight games.


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Are the Arizona Cardinals the best team in the NFC?