TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Cardinals found themselves one loss away from sitting inside the playoff hunt looking out.
The Carolina Panthers' win over the San Francisco 49ers kept Arizona a game outside the last wild-card spot. Heading into Week 11, the Cards are seventh, just behind No. 5 Carolina and NFC West foe San Francisco, which is sixth.
Had the Panthers lost, they would’ve had an identical 5-4 record as the Cardinals, who own the tie breaker with a Week 5 win at University of Phoenix Stadium. Arizona would’ve leaped into that last playoff spot.
Chicago’s loss to Detroit helped the Cards, as did Green Bay falling to Philadelphia. Because Arizona beat Detroit in Week 2, it owns the common-opponent tie breaker over the Bears and Packers.
Future schedules are also in the Cardinals’ favor.
Carolina plays New England on Sunday and still has the New Orleans Saints twice. San Francisco plays in New Orleans on Sunday and still has St. Louis, Seattle and the Cardinals on its schedule.
Arizona plays at Jacksonville on Sunday, then host the Colts before a trip to Philadelphia, where the Eagles are winless this season.
If Arizona can win Sunday and Carolina loses, the Cardinals are sitting in a wild-card spot with six games left.
The NFC seedings heading into Week 11:
Overall record, NFC record
Seattle, 9-1, 6-0
New Orleans, 7-2, 5-0
Detroit, 6-3, 5-2
Dallas, 5-5, 5-2
Carolina, 6-3, 6-2
San Francisco, 6-3, 3-2
Arizona, 5-4, 4-4
Chicago, 5-4, 3-4
Green Bay, 5-4, 3-3