SI writer: Cardinals need help to reach the playoffs

May 16, 2013, 5:52 PM | Updated: 6:30 pm

The Arizona Cardinals made a considerable amount of changes since their final game of the 2012 season, including in the coaching ranks as well as all over the roster.

But will it all be enough to lift a team that won just five games last season to the postseason in the next one?

According to Sports Illustrated writer Don Banks, no. But, he notes, it’s not necessarily due to a lack of effort or anything the Cardinals have done themselves.

You can like a lot of what the Cardinals accomplished this offseason on the coaching, front office and roster-building side and still not be able to make a legitimate case for them to leap-frog the 49ers, Seahawks or Rams in the NFC West standings. And therein lies the problem: You can’t make the playoffs as a last-place team in the NFL. It’s mathematically impossible because there are only two wild-card clubs in each conference.



I can see Arizona being obviously improved, finishing in the seven-win range, and playing its division mates tough. But the Cardinals don’t have the firepower to match what San Francisco, Seattle or St. Louis can put on the field this season, and adding the below average Carson Palmer at quarterback only rates as an upgrade because Arizona was almost comically outmatched at the game’s most crucial position last year.

Banks’ misgivings about Palmer notwithstanding, he is reiterating a general theme that seems to be surrounding the Cardinals heading into the 2013 season. Sure, they may be better, but their division is so tough their record may not reflect the improvement.

As for the team’s playoff chances? Banks writes, “It would require woeful underachievement by the rest of the NFC West to lift Arizona’s fortunes to wild-card contending status.”

Very well, then.

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals' Kyler Murray (1) participates during the team's NFL football practice, Wednesday...
Nikash Nath

Cardinals’ Kyler Murray among top 5 QBs in multiple PFF passing metrics

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray's accuracy was on point in 2021, especially when looking at deep throws.
3 days ago
Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons #9 during the NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals an...
Nikash Nath

PFF’s Renner: Cardinals’ Isaiah Simmons a breakout candidate in Year 3

Cardinals' inside linebacker Isaiah Simmons was named a potential year three breakout candidate by PFF's Michael Renner.
2 days ago
Rodney Hudson #61 of the Arizona Cardinals in the huddle during the game against the Tennessee Tita...
Wills Rice

Former Cardinals C A.Q. Shipley thinks offense needs to find identity

"For (Kyler) the next step is just grabbing everyone around him, whether he just needs one play and everyone will look to him," Shipley said.
3 days ago
General Manager Steve Keim of the Arizona Cardinals looks on prior to the game against the Baltimor...
Tyler Drake

Important NFL dates to remember and how they impact Arizona Cardinals

A look at the important league dates to circle on your calendar and how they relate to the Arizona Cardinals' roster decisions.
3 days ago
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury takes notes as he watches players taking part in drill...
Tyler Drake

Looming questions for the Arizona Cardinals ahead of training camp

There are quite a few questions marks surrounding the Arizona Cardinals ahead of training camp this offseason.
3 days ago
(Twitter photo/New England Patriots)...
Wills Rice

New England Patriots bring back red uniforms in Back to the Future spoof

The New England Patriots announced the team is bringing back their old-school red uniform and helmet combo for the 2022 season.
4 days ago
SI writer: Cardinals need help to reach the playoffs