Sunday, December 27, 2009
Wrap-up: Cardinals 31, Rams 10
By Mike Sando
The Cardinals reached a significant milestone by claiming their 10th victory of the season, their first season since 1976 with double-digit victories.
They will likely emerge as the fourth seed in the NFC, but there's a chance they could claim the second or third seed.
As the fourth seed, the Cardinals could face the Packers in the wild-card round. Green Bay visits Arizona in Week 17, leading to potentially intriguing scenarios. For Arizona, beating the Packers in Week 17 could conceivably head off a rematch a week later.
The Cardinals are a bit difficult to figure right now. They're clearly less explosive offensively than they were last season, but they are winning more consistently and by more varied means. And their running game is superior.
The Rams made Arizona work three-plus quarters for the victory even though Steven Jackson did not play. Brandon Gibson's leaping touchdown grab provided a rare highlight in the passing game for St. Louis. Still, the Cardinals were never seriously threatened.
The Rams moved closer to securing the No. 1 overall choice in the 2010 draft after Tampa Bay upset New Orleans. The Lions are also in the running. Strength of schedule, not head-to-head results, determines draft order for teams with the same records.