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Cardinals can become third 11-5 team to miss playoffs


Of the 10 NFL teams that have double-digit wins this season, eight have already clinched playoff berths and a ninth will make the playoffs with a win on Sunday. And then there are the Cardinals.

Arizona is 10-5 but will probably miss the playoffs even if it improves to 11-5 with a win over San Francisco on Sunday. (The Cardinals need to win to make the playoffs and also need the Saints to lose to the Buccaneers.) If the Cardinals do miss the playoffs at 11-5, they will be just the third team in NFL history to do so.

As noted by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the only previous 11-5 teams to miss the playoffs were the 1985 Broncos and the 2008 Patriots. (Three 11-win teams missed the playoffs in the old days, before the 16-game season and the expanded playoffs. The 1967 Baltimore Colts missed the playoffs at 11-1-2, the 1963 Green Bay Packers missed the playoffs at 11-2-1 and the 1962 Detroit Lions missed the playoffs at 11-3.)

The Cardinals have a lot to be proud of this season, but they had the bad luck to be playing in the NFC West, which has proven this season to be one of the toughest divisions in NFL history. The Seahawks and 49ers are two of the best teams in the NFL, and even the last-place Rams could contend for first place in some divisions. (The Rams beat the Cardinals in Week One and later had wins over the Colts, Bears and Saints.)

The good news for Cardinals fans? Both of the previous 11-5 teams that missed the playoffs won their divisions the next year.

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51 Responses to “Cardinals can become third 11-5 team to miss playoffs”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 28, 2013 4:08 PM

    I thought Peter King had some good initial ideas when he brought up his concerns on The Dan Patrick Show, but he didn’t seem concerned about the bigger issue such as the Cardinals missing out completely. The home-field award issue is secondary to this huge problem.

    If the 4 divisions in each conference were condensed to two, then the Cards wouldn’t miss out with 11 wins to potentially GB with 8.5. That’s just not cool.

  2. koolaid734 says: Dec 28, 2013 4:14 PM

    this division went from worst to first in a blink of an eye it seems

  3. MostlyRight says: Dec 28, 2013 4:23 PM

    I’m a Cardinals and Tampa Bay fan this weekend just because I think the playoffs will be so much more interesting with the Cardinals in them than the Saints.

  4. benihanagt says: Dec 28, 2013 4:26 PM

    NFC West teams are 30-10 (.750) vs Non-NFC West teams.

    AFC West 2nd best at 25-15 (.625) vs Non-AFC West teams.

    Cardinals, Rams, and Chargers in any of the other divisions would be playoff bound.

  5. kremis says: Dec 28, 2013 4:30 PM

    Go Tampa bay!!!!!!!!!

  6. arwiv says: Dec 28, 2013 4:31 PM

    I wouldn’t change the division set-ups….the rivalries are too important to me, and condensing divisions would mess that up.

    The team with the best record, wc or not, should always have the home field though. 11 win wc teams should not be going on the road to face an 8 or 9 win division champ.

  7. tigerlilac says: Dec 28, 2013 4:33 PM

    That’s right, the Patriots only missed the playoffs in 2008, the year Brady was injured in game one, an 11-5 year due to a tiebreaker. I don’t recall anyone feeling sorry for the Pats that year. Brady has won his division 11 times, a record that likely will only be broken by him. Belichick is one of the top coaches in sports history.

  8. bcfalcon says: Dec 28, 2013 4:34 PM

    I don’t know who is more deserving of coach of the year, Bruce Arians or Mike McCoy!

  9. rickyspanish says: Dec 28, 2013 4:35 PM

    This stinks for the Cardinals and their fans. If I were a fan I’d be proud but disappointed if they don’t make the playoffs.

  10. dobreshunka says: Dec 28, 2013 4:41 PM

    This same division sent a 7-9 team to the playoffs two years ago. It works both ways. Win your divisional games (cards will go 3-3 at best), and this won’t be an issue.

  11. sinisterg says: Dec 28, 2013 4:41 PM

    In or out the playoffs , Good season . Please retain all the defense players and coaching staff. Please win 12 games next season. The 2015 SB will be held st UOP Stadium in AZ, PLEASE win 12 games next season and fight for a home field advantage Super Bowlbin 2015! PLEASE!
    That would be absolutely insane!!!! AZ would go nuts!

  12. sinisterg says: Dec 28, 2013 4:43 PM

    I meant home field advantage “Super Bowl” in 2015

  13. returntoexcellence says: Dec 28, 2013 4:43 PM

    6 best teams in each conference period. Who cares if a certain division is not represented in the playoffs? If you want to represent your division than win enough games to be one of the 6 best in the conference! Otherwise, sit at home and watch the playoffs like the rest of us.

  14. fatguystrangler says: Dec 28, 2013 5:07 PM

    On the flip-side, an 8-8 team is mathematically alive to get a Wildcard in the AFC. The NFL is weird like that. Still, don’t expand the playoffs, Commish.

  15. fatguystrangler says: Dec 28, 2013 5:07 PM

    On the flip-side, a 7-8 team is mathematically alive to get a Wildcard in the AFC. The NFL is weird like that. Still, don’t expand the playoffs, Commish.

  16. fatguystrangler says: Dec 28, 2013 5:07 PM

    On the flip-side, a 7-8 team is mathematically alive to get a Wildcard in the AFC. The NFL is weird like that. Still, don’t expand the playoffs, Commish.

  17. fatguystrangler says: Dec 28, 2013 5:08 PM

    ^7-8, I mean.

  18. scmems07 says: Dec 28, 2013 5:20 PM


  19. delusionalcardsfan says: Dec 28, 2013 5:23 PM

    Lame as hell but unfortunately acceptable. The Cards got in and made a Super Bowl run with a worse record! I’m still incredibly proud to be a Cards fan since day 1in the desert and excited for what the future of AZ football will be for years to come. On the flip side, if the Saints crap the bed and the Cards handle the 9 er’s, opposing teams should be nervous as hell!! GO CARDS!! GO BUCS!!

  20. 8oneanddones says: Dec 28, 2013 5:25 PM

    Playoff expansion is coming. I think first round byes are on their way out.

    Goodell has stated his desire to make the NFL a $25 billion league, and he’s got about $15 billion to go. The obvious low hanging fruit is more playoff games.

  21. zetotalpackage says: Dec 28, 2013 5:25 PM

    Carson the Quitter brought his bad karma to Arizona. Negativity so thick, so resinous, so enveloping, that it pulled the entire team down until the playoffs were out of reach.

  22. meatcarroll says: Dec 28, 2013 5:32 PM

    Good. Maybe now they’ll learn that each regular season game is important instead of coasting along for the first half of the season. Conference seeding is a spectacularly awful idea, this is the NFL where literally every game counts (remember when the Seahawks hardly beat a “lowly” Panthers team in week 1?), not the damn NBA.

  23. southpaw79 says: Dec 28, 2013 5:34 PM

    If the Seahawks are getting blown out against the Rams and the Saints are getting blow out against the Bucs at half time, the second half of the Niners Cards game is going to be brutal. If the blow out is going the other way the second half will be boring. So for the sake of the fans The Bucs and Rams should play their hearts out.

  24. unbridledsexy says: Dec 28, 2013 5:39 PM

    This is why every single game in the regular season is important, thus making this the greatest sport in the world. I never tire of this sport.

  25. dietrich43 says: Dec 28, 2013 5:44 PM

    Bruce Arians became a lot smarter after he ‘retired’ from the Steelers.

  26. imatroll300 says: Dec 28, 2013 5:51 PM

    here’s an easy solution to the problem. all 32 teams play in the post season. a team can play teams from either conference and the season would only last a week longer then it does now.

  27. harrisonhits2 says: Dec 28, 2013 5:53 PM

    Its a not very common occurrence and thems the breaks. Sucks for the Cards fans but I doubt the league will change playoff seeding because of this.

  28. saints12013 says: Dec 28, 2013 5:58 PM

    They should only have one team with a bye week and add another wild card team. There would be three wild card games and still two divisional round games

  29. saints12013 says: Dec 28, 2013 6:02 PM

    I think they award the division winner with too much. Award them with only a guaranteed playoff berth not a home game unless they have a better record than either of the two Wild Card teams. There are ways to figure it out to make it fair, Goodell is just a stubborn dude.

  30. saints12013 says: Dec 28, 2013 6:06 PM

    Believe me, I feel Cardinals fans pain. We had to go on the road after finishing 11-5 in 2010 to play a team we had 4 more wins than. That’s why I really think the NFL should add another wild card team and eliminate the bye week for the 2nd seed.

  31. EJ says: Dec 28, 2013 6:12 PM

    The Cardinals deserve to be in the Playoffs 100%, no if’s and’s or but’s about it. The league will be missing out on some good playoff material with their absence. I would like to see a head to head Defensive controlling game between the Cards and the Seahawks, where the 2 defense’s put up more points than the Offense’s do.

  32. narfmoo12 says: Dec 28, 2013 6:27 PM

    Arizona already lost to New Orleans, Philly, San Francisco, and Seattle. I don’t feel sorry for them.

  33. axespray says: Dec 28, 2013 6:29 PM

    If you’re a big bad 10+ win wildcard team with more wins than an 7 or 9 win division winning team then quit crying and beat that team on the road if you think you’re better than them.

  34. jdphx says: Dec 28, 2013 6:42 PM

    Az has a formidable defense… But MAN is their
    offense bad! P…U…

  35. drprozzak says: Dec 28, 2013 6:58 PM

    meatcarroll says: Dec 28, 2013 5:32 PM

    “Good. Maybe now they’ll learn that each regular season game is important instead of coasting along for the first half of the season.”

    new coaching staff
    more than half the team is new faces
    new quarterback
    New playbook

    Yep, they just mailed it in.

  36. psilenttype says: Dec 28, 2013 7:06 PM

    They need to keep the divisions the same for traveling & scheduling purposes BUT when it comes to the postseason your record should determine your seeding 1-6 regardless if you win your division or not! Majority of the time there will be a division winner in all 4 divisions in each conference but when there is a 11 win team at home that is unacceptable.

  37. mrlaloosh says: Dec 28, 2013 7:35 PM

    Instead of worrying about the Bucs-Saints game, maybe beating SF should really be on the Cards fans list of priorities.

  38. coolherc says: Dec 28, 2013 7:40 PM

    scmems07 says:
    Dec 28, 2013 5:20 PM



    Sorry, but 12 – 3 > 10 – 5 by anyone’s math.

    If the Cardinals were truly the better team they wouldn’t have been behind in the division the entire season and needing help to make the playoffs.

    Better luck next year.

  39. beardinals says: Dec 28, 2013 7:58 PM

    coolherc says:

    If the Cardinals were truly the better team they wouldn’t have been behind in the division the entire season and needing help to make the playoffs.

    True, but the Cardinals also had a roster, front office, coaching and system change which took time to assimilate. By week 8, you could definitely see the difference.

    NONE of their NFCW competition had even remotley as much change to deal with.

  40. Vim says: Dec 28, 2013 8:23 PM

    So the Cards fans are disgruntled and whining because their beloved team may not make the playoffs?

    This is your classic loser mentality: come up short and look for every which way to become eligible for unearned rewards.
    Change the rules they say. Division winners should not be guaranteed a playoff spot they claim. We are the Cardinals, they insist, and no matter what our record us, you must change everything around to make sure that we get into the playoffs.

    I thing we should accommodate them. Why not? Common guys, let us do this. Let us give them a spot. In fact, can we just slot them into the Super Bowl?

  41. dontouchmyjunk says: Dec 28, 2013 8:39 PM

    As noted, the current system has been in place for 50 years. When you have divisions, there is always the possibility that a team with a better record misses the playoffs, and it’s happened going back to the 1960’s.

    However, if you dismantle the divisional playoff system then you might as well just eliminate divisions. They would have zero meaning. Just have two conferences. But you know what would happen then? There will be a team from one of the conferences with a better record than a team in the other that made the playoffs but the team with the better record stays home.

    Or, just eliminate conferences too. Play a willy nilly regular season and the top 12 or 14 teams go to the playoffs. But then, the NFL loses the one thing that separates it from all other sports. THE REGULAR SEASON MATTERS! It’s the only pro sport where that is true.

  42. dontouchmyjunk says: Dec 28, 2013 8:45 PM

    “I don’t know who is more deserving of coach of the year, Bruce Arians or Mike McCoy!”

    Chip Kelly

  43. cinvis says: Dec 28, 2013 8:47 PM

    The real issue for the Cards is the tiebreaker system is broken. Most will think that head 2 head should be the 1st tiebreaker, but that’s only fair in divisions (since they play twice home and home).

    Does anybody (but the Saints homers) think the Saints beat the Cards if the game is in Arizona? NO got that home game because of a flip of a coin. If you are going to decide playoff spots that way, you might as well just flip a coin.

  44. dontouchmyjunk says: Dec 28, 2013 8:49 PM

    Is this the same division that sent a 7-9 Seahawks team to the playoffs as recently as 2010? And the 10-6 Giants stayed home? And now the same division is whining like babies?

  45. taintedsaints2009 says: Dec 28, 2013 9:09 PM

    Proves the NFC is the better conference this year.

  46. mudhead123 says: Dec 28, 2013 9:24 PM

    AZ fans are ahead of themselves.. They will lose tomorrow anyway and this will be a non issue

  47. crisper57 says: Dec 28, 2013 9:49 PM

    Not hearing much whining out of AZ. Fans are proud of this team and know that not making the playoffs is probable. Still doesn’t change the fact that most of your teams would fear a traveling Carss teaming they did make it in.

  48. ilovefoolsball says: Dec 28, 2013 10:44 PM

    Go falcons! Go saints!

  49. gg206 says: Dec 28, 2013 10:48 PM

    Every year where a bad (8/9 win) division winner has a worse record than a w/c contender .. Get over yourselves People, you all always complain about the system.. It is what it is.. It works both ways.. Sucks for ARZ now but you gotta win the games in division and in conference because of the tiebreaker rules.. If you don’t, you’re at the mercy of your competitors.. Plenty of crap teams sneak in and make the playoffs worthwhile (2011 broncos, and Seahawks, 2008 cards, etc) and plenty of supposed good teams go one and done .. (2011 saints, 2000s colts, 2003 chiefs, etc) so it’s all about health, momentum and matchups in postseason..

  50. 64post says: Dec 28, 2013 11:04 PM

    Karma for Bill Bidwell if they miss out. He was and is one of the worst owners ever. His son must endure his bad legacy.

  51. raideralex99 says: Dec 29, 2013 5:22 AM

    Hey remember that game the Cards lost to the Eagles thanks to the poor officiating well maybe karma will happen … Cowboys beat the Eagles and the Bucs beat the Saints while the Cards win. This way the refs are off the hook.

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