Tuesday, December 24, 2013
What's left for the Cards' playoff hopes
By Josh Weinfuss
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Atlanta Falcons nearly gave every Cardinals fan this side of the Atlantic Ocean a reason to celebrate Monday night, only to have the San Francisco 49ers spoil their fun with an incredible late-game interception.
NFL Playoff Machine
Check current playoff seedings and Week 17 scenarios.
With the win, the 49ers clinched a playoff berth so here's how the playoff picture plays out heading into Week 17: Arizona and New Orleans are left to battle it out for the last wild-card spot in the NFC. Both are 10-5 but since the Saints beat the Cardinals in Week 3, they own the tie breaker.
In order for Arizona to make the playoffs, they need to either beat or tie the 49ers and New Orleans needs to lose to Tampa Bay. After weeks of a dizzying amount of scenarios, that's all it boils down to.
To make things interesting, the NFL flexed the Saints-Bucs game to the afternoon slot, avoiding the possibility of the Cardinals-49ers being rendered meaningless by a Saints win. There'll be a lot of scoreboard watching inside University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday.
Arizona needs to win or tie
New Orleans needs to lose
Also, New Orleans-Tampa Bay was flexed to 4:25 p.m. ET, same time as Arizona's 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff.