Spiraling toward the playoffs

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Losing to Seattle in Week 17 would make Arizona the fifth playoff team since 1986 to lose five of its final six regular-season games.

Three of the previous four won a playoff game. Two of those teams faced each other in the wild-card round, with the Dolphins defeating the Seahawks following the 1999 season.

That Seattle team went from 8-2 to 9-7, triggering an overhaul to the roster.

Looking at the chart, teams that finished 1-5 over their final six games fared better in the playoffs than teams with 2-4 closing records. But none of the 12 teams listed from 1986 through last season managed to win more than one playoff game.

Winning even one playoff game would change perceptions about the Cardinals' current season. But the questions facing the organization will remain largely unchanged. We'll dive into some of those in the coming weeks.