ARIZONA CARDINALS

Playoff odds project well for Cardinals after win over Giants

Dec 14, 2020, 9:37 AM | Updated: 5:08 pm
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury makes a call during the second half of an NFL football...

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury makes a call during the second half of an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona head coach Kliff Kingsbury made sure to point out the New York Giants had a lot to play for on Sunday. But the Cardinals’ Week 14 win was crucial for them, too.

The Giants lost their hold on the NFC East to Washington when Arizona visited MetLife Stadium on Sunday and left with a 26-7 victory.

It was as close to backbreaking as it can get for New York.

“That’s a good team that had won four in a row,” Kingsbury said Sunday. “They were playing for first place, they had everything to play for as well, so to come in here and do it in that fashion I believe will build confidence moving forward.”

For the Cardinals, the game was a monumental shot in the arm for, not only their confidence, but their playoff hopes. They jumped the Minnesota Vikings to take hold of the final NFC Wild Card slot with three games to play, and Arizona now has a strong case to hold it.

The Cardinals (7-6) have a full game up on the 6-7 Vikings and Chicago Bears, who play one another next week.

There’s also Washington (6-7), New York (5-8), Detroit (5-8), San Francisco (5-8), and even the Cardinals’ next opponent, the Philadelphia Eagles (4-8), who are still reasonably capable of impacting the Wild Card situation.

Here’s what a number of analytical models say about the Cardinals’ chances of hanging on.

ESPN

ESPN’s Seth Walder gives Arizona a 57.2% chance of making the postseason, and he’s broken it down by odds for making each seed.

There’s a 33.3% shot of the Cardinals hanging on to the No. 7 seed but a 14.7% shot of moving to sixth and 7.7% odds they can surge to fifth with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5) and Seattle Seahawks (9-4) ahead of them in the standings.

FiveThirtyEight.com

According to FiveThirtyEight.com, Arizona’s win against New York improved its playoff standing by 30% from last week.

That leap, of course, was aided by the Vikings’ loss to the Buccaneers, as well as losses by the Lions and 49ers in Week 14.

The Cardinals have a 54% shot at making the playoffs by this model. A win this coming week against the Eagles would improve Arizona’s chances of making the postseason to 69%.

Another victory in the penultimate game of 2020 gives them 91% odds heading into a season finale against the Rams.

NBC

NBC political analyst Steve Kornacki was back at it on Sunday Night Football, keeping us updated on the playoff races across the NFL.

Using Pro Football Focus’ projection models, the Cardinals have improved their playoff hopes significantly.

“Look at that gap, a 61% shot for the Cardinals to make the playoffs,” Kornacki said. “Minnesota, Chicago chasing them. Very, very limited chances for those teams in comparison.”

The Vikings (17%) and Bears (14%) need to play catchup in a major way.

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons running back Mike Davis (28) is tackled by New York Giants free safety Jabrill Pepp...
Nicholas Hodell

ESPN’s Barnwell proposes Cardinals trade for Jabrill Peppers at deadline

ESPN's Bill Barnwell proposed the Cardinals trading for Jabrill Peppers with this year's trade deadline on Nov. 2 rapidly approaching.
13 hours ago
Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills (10) is sacked by New England Patriots linebacker Jamie Coll...
Tyler Drake

Davis Mills, Houston Texans limp into Week 7 matchup vs. Cardinals

The Texans' well has run dry in the form of a five-game losing streak after picking up a season-opening win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals DL J.J. Watt checks his face after running through a drill during practice Wednes...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals’ J.J. Watt feels for Texans fans, ready to face former team

J.J. Watt undoubtedly has a ton of love for the city of Houston. Come Sunday, however, moving to 7-0 is the biggest thing on his mind.
2 days ago
Zach Ertz of the Arizona Cardinals looks on prior to the game against the Cleveland Browns at First...
Kevin Zimmerman

Keim: Cardinals pursued Zach Ertz trade feeling they ‘had to make a move’

General manager Steve Keim felt that his Arizona Cardinals had no choice but to be aggressive after losing starting tight end Maxx Williams.
2 days ago
Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Chris Jones interacts with Arizona Cardinals tight end Darrell Dan...
Arizona Sports

Texans-Cardinals injury report: Arizona TE Darrell Daniels, DT Rashard Lawrence out

The Cardinals are nicked up at tight end, on the offensive line and at linebacker as they prepare for Week 7 against the Houston Texans.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals linebacker Kylie Fitts (49), Cardinals defensive end Chandler Jones (55) and Card...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals OLB Chandler Jones out of COVID-19 protocols, Fitts’ year over

Cardinals outside linebacker Kylie Fitts said on Instagram that his season is over, though it is not clear what has led to his year ending.
2 days ago
Playoff odds project well for Cardinals after win over Giants