CARDINALS CORNER

Sunday Night Football has big 2024 NFL Draft implications for Cardinals

Dec 24, 2023, 6:55 PM | Updated: 8:30 pm

Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon looks on...

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals were again on the losing end of the scoreboard for a 12th time this season.

The 27-16 loss to the Chicago Bears did little in the building-momentum or feel-good departments with two games left to play this season.

The defeat did, however, cement the 3-12 Cardinals that much more inside the top 3.

In fact, the loss for now has Arizona in the No. 2 spot behind the 2-13 Carolina Panthers, per Tankathon.

Emphasis on the for-now part.

With the 2-11 New England Patriots set to take on the 7-7 Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football, Bill Belichick’s squad for the time being holds a better win percentage than Arizona.

A win would keep the Cardinals in that second spot.

A loss, though, would see Arizona and New England switch places once more.

Regardless, the Cardinals can’t fall out of the top 3 with the Washington Commanders taking up the fourth spot at 4-11.

Washington’s win over Arizona in Week 1 continues to have a major impact in draft order. If the Cardinals would have gotten the W in the season opener, it would be the Commanders (.520) sitting pretty in the third spot thanks to having a weaker strength of schedule than Arizona (.564).

It’s not just Arizona’s original first-rounder that could be impacted in a big way Sunday night, either.

In addition to a Patriots’ loss, a Broncos’ win would mean positive movement for Arizona’s second first-round pick it added through a trade in the 2023 NFL Draft with the Houston Texans.

Not only did the Texans take the L this week against a Joe Flacco-led Cleveland Browns team, they watched a couple seven-win teams — Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks — rattle off wins in Week 16.

The victories have Houston sitting at No. 16 overall, up one spot from last week. But a win by the Broncos on Sunday night would send the pick back up into the top 15 thanks to Denver’s tougher strength of schedule (.488) compared to Houston’s (.470).

Having two picks in the top 15 could go a long way in fast forwarding Arizona’s rebuild.

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