While we're still all high-fiving and patting each other on the back I figured I'd throw out this pipe dream. I'm sure as Cardinals fans we all want Kurt Warner and company to have the best possible playoff seed heading into the post season and at this point the best case scenario looks like the #2 seed. With that in mind last night win over the Vikings was obviously huge and it opens a whole can of "what if" worms. The Cardinals are in the drivers seat to secure the #3 seed but the #2 seed still might be attainable, but what will it take?
First and foremost the Cardinals will most likely have to win out. That sounds more daunting that it actually is considering the rest of their schedule contains four very "winnable" games. To start, the Red Birds will most likely be favored in each game, only one team remaining can boast an above .500 record and the four game stretch includes teams which have combined for a 15-32 (.469) record. Two of the games, including the most difficult (Packers), are at home and road trips to San Francisco and Detroit aren't exactly buzzkills. If the Cardinals can win their remaining four games they'll be sitting at a very healthy 12-4, but will that be enough?
Currently the Vikings are 10-2 so they have a two game lead with four to play, but their remaining schedule isn't near as favorable. Next week they'll host the 9-3 Bengals, who are 4-1 on the road and a road trip to Carolina will follow. It's concievable that the Vikings could lose to the Bengals and then beat the Panthers leaving them at 11-3 but still holding a one game lead over the Cardinals. The Vikings remaining two games include a road trip to Chicago to take on the rival Bears then a home tilt against the upstart Giants. Despite the lack of quality play from the Bears this season we all know how quirky rival games can be and as the Cowboys learned yesterday, the Giants are no pushover. It's again concievable that the Vikings lose one of these games and leave them sitting at 12-4 with the Cardinals.
If, and I realize that's a big IF, this scenario plays out the Cardinals will enjoy much needed bye week heading into the playoffs before hosting a game at UoP. The only question now is, can it be done? Thoughts?