The Arizona Cardinals have given little reason to believe they are destined for a disappointing postseason.
At 11-2, they have the second-best record in the NFC and are tied for the second-best record in the entire NFL.
They are tops in the NFL in yards and second in points per game, while at the same time rank fourth in football in yards allowed and seventh in points allowed per game.
Furthermore their point differential of plus-153 is second only to the Carolina Panthers, and they’ve beaten three potential playoff teams (Seattle Seahawks, Cincinnati Bengals, Minnesota Vikings) during their current seven-game winning streak.
Yet, for all that they are doing well, there are some who are starting to believe the Seahawks may be rounding into form as the team to beat in the NFC.
Winners of their last four games by margins of 16, nine, 31 and 29 points, the two-time defending NFC champions are led by QB Russell Wilson, who has thrown 16 touchdown passes and zero interceptions over his last four games.
In short, the Seahawks are looking more like the team that reached the last two Super Bowls than the one that lost five of its first nine games.
Indeed an NFC West team may represent the conference in the Super Bowl, but who is more likely to fill the role, Arizona or Seattle?
That — and eight other questions — were answered by NFL.com’s Adam Schein in this week’s Schein Line.
As for his answer?
All the Seahawks have done recently is lay the wood to opposing teams … and all the Arizona Cardinals do is win and show off their amazing top-to-bottom talent. Rawls’ injury curbs the enthusiasm for Seattle a tad. Yes, the Cardinals’ suffered their own injury at running back, with Chris Johnson landing on injured reserve in Week 12 — but rookie David Johnson has stepped up since, recording 90-plus rushing yards and 120-plus yards from scrimmage in each of Arizona’s past two games. And the rest of the Cardinals’ roster is simply stacked, 1-53. While I acknowledge Seattle is primed to make another strong run, it’s clearly Arizona.
Does that make Cardinals fans feel better or, at least, less nervous about a potential postseason matchup with Seattle?
The good news, at least in terms of those teams, is unless the Cardinals collapse here at the end of the regular season any playoff game against the Seahawks will be held at University of Phoenix Stadium.
If it comes to that, of course, and plenty still must happen for that to be the case.
- In the face of criticism, Cardinals QB Carson Palmer stays even-keeled
- Dealing Cards: Carson Palmer defends J.J. Nelson, MNF adds a practice day
- Carson Chats: Intelligence, confidence key to Nelson’s game
- Cardinals RB David Johnson: There really is no timeline for injury return
- All-Access with Bruce Arians: Updates on John Brown and Bucannon