NFC playoff race breakdown: Arizona’s chances at No. 1 seed
TEMPE, Ariz. — It should be apparent that a Cardinals win in Seattle on Sunday would all but cement Arizona’s third NFC West title since 2008. Seattle would be four games back while the 49ers, if they beat the Redskins, would be three back with five games to play and a loss to Arizona already on their ledger.
But what if the Cardinals lose in Seattle? What are their chances of still winning the NFC West and earning the No. 1 seed for the NFC playoffs?
Here’s a breakdown of schedules for each team still in the realistic running for the top seed in the conference, along with their chances at the various NFC seeds and the most likely outcome, courtesy of sportsclubstats.com.
For obvious reasons, we have excluded the sad-sack NFC South where Atlanta currently leads the division with a 4-6 record (all four wins have come against division opponents).
As you can see, the Cardinals have an 87 percent chance of earning either the No. 1 seed or the No. 2 seed in the playoffs. That would afford them a first-round bye and at least one home game (the divisional round). Of course, this is getting a little ahead of ourselves and it certainly isn’t a topic the Cardinals are thinking about at this point as they head to Seattle to face a desperate Seahawks team.
"They’re the world champs. We’re just 9-1," coach Bruce Arians said. "We haven’t done (expletive)."
— The Cardinals have allowed 17 four-quarter points in their nine victories.
— Seahawks DE O’Brien Schofield played for the Cardinals from 2010-12. He was a fourth-round pick (130th overall) in 2010 and played in 35 games in three years, totaling 70 tackles and 10.5 sacks.
— Cardinals TE John Carlson played for the Seahawks from 2008-11 after being drafted by Seattle in the second round (38th overall) in 2008. In his first two years, he posted the top two single-season totals by a TE in Seahawks history in receptions (55 in 2008, 51 in 2009) and receiving yards (627 in 2008, 574 in 2009).
— The Cardinals and Seahawks have split the season series in each of the last three years, with Arizona earning a win in Week 16 last season. That win snapped a streak of 14 consecutive home wins for the Seahawks.