Arizona Cardinals’ playoff odds make leap with win vs. Eagles

Dec 21, 2020, 10:28 AM
Arizona Cardinals linebacker Dennis Gardeck (45) celebrates his sack of Philadelphia Eagles quarter...

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Dennis Gardeck (45) celebrates his sack of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Odds of the Arizona Cardinals making the NFC playoffs as a Wild Card team got a boost over the weekend.

Arizona defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 33-26 had much to do with an increase in likelihood the franchise can make its first postseason berth in five years.

Losses by the San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions formally eliminated those teams from the postseason on Sunday.

Because the two teams immediately chasing the Cardinals played one another, Arizona got separation from another opponent in the chase. The Chicago Bears (7-7) defeated the Minnesota Vikings (6-8) by a 33-27 score on Sunday, pushing Minnesota to the brink of elimination.

The Cardinals entered their Week 15 game against the Eagles with a 54% shot at making the playoffs, according to FiveThirtyEight, while ESPN pegged it at 57% odds.

With Arizona’s win Sunday at State Farm Stadium, those improved to around 70%, per FiveThirtyEight.

A home game against the 49ers upcoming could improve those chances to 85% with a Cardinals victory before they travel to face the Los Angeles Rams in the season finale.

However, losing to San Francisco would plummet Arizona’s playoff hopes to around 42%.

Below is a visual from ESPN of how the Cardinals’ playoff odds shifted throughout the two main playing windows on Sunday.

Note the dip around the time the Eagles tied the game at 26-all and the bump in odds with Kyler Murray finding DeAndre Hopkins for the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter.

The graphic of NFC Wild Card odds also shows the Seahawks’ odds of playing as a Wild Card team diminish as the Los Angeles Rams suffered a defeat against the previously winless New York Jets. That outcome gave Seattle the NFC West lead and an upgraded seed.

Below, you can see Arizona’s tiny chance of winning the NFC West disappear with the Seahawks’ win over the Washington Football Team just before the Cardinals kicked off at 2:05 p.m. MST.

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