Arizona Cardinals: Atlanta or bust
The Arizona Cardinals may be just one loss away from any realistic playoff hopes
They may already be out of it. Even I hinted at that possibility the other day. However thanks to the rest of the NFC, everyone seems as if they want to keep giving the Arizona Cardinals hope.
Postseason hope is alive for likely the last week if the Cardinals lose this Sunday at the Atlanta Falcons. Mathematically they’l still be alive. Realistically? The chance may already be gone.
Let’s not kid ourselves though. The Cardinals have hardly resembled anything like a playoff team this season. They’ve only won two games that didn’t involve the San Francisco 49ers.
Outside of Buffalo and Carolina, the Cardinals have had opportunities to win every game. Once again, the inability to finish games hurt them on Sunday in the 30-24 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
Four of the Cardinals last six are on the road. After Atlanta, they still have trips to Miami, Seattle, and Los Angeles this season.
You’ll see other stories about Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer this week on this site. One is waiting for him to shine, another already believes he’s done.
Palmer is your average quarterback. That is what he is. He’s not as good as he played in 2015. He’s not as bad as he was in Oakland.
There are only a handful of quarterbacks, maybe six to eight of them, you can count on to leading your team to a Super Bowl. Then there are maybe another 10-15 that are good enough to get you to the postseason.
Palmer falls within that 10-15. Many of us thought maybe he would be in that elite six to eight after his 2015 season. Truth is, he’s a good quarterback but not elite. Expectations become too high and many will blame the quarterback for a team’s woes.
So is Palmer good enough to win all six remaining games? Sure. However he needs help and it doesn’t appear it is coming this season.
His offensive line needs to perform better. His receivers need to run proper routes. Special teams needs to become special again. Oh and yes, Palmer has his issues too. He’s certainly not blameless.
He will however need to play a lot better against the Falcons for us to all still be saying playoffs and the Cardinals in the same sentence at this time next week. It may be too late but the chance is still there.