In 2008, the Arizona Cardinals (you know the worst team to ever make the playoffs) won a very weak division and got the fourth seed in the NFC. They somehow hosted two playoff games that year and made a Super Bowl. That team was a good team, and seeing them play in person, it was like men among boys sometimes (sometimes the Cardinals were the men, other times not)
The 2013 Arizona Cardinals won 10 games in what is probably the hardest division in football (amazing what a difference five years make) and did not go to the playoffs. They probably are the eighth or ninth best team in all of football and have to sit home and watch the likes of Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, and Seattle Seahawks, teams that they beat this year, play in January while they sit at home. I for one think that this is the way it should be.....
I am disappointed that they are not playing football just as much as everyone else on this site, but at the end of the day you have chances to make the playoffs and they are either A) win the division or B) be the top two in the conference that doesn't. In this case your Arizona Cardinals were neither of those.
All these people up in arms over the current playoff format please remember that we were all thanking our lucky stars five years ago about the same current format, but lets say the NFL does what I don't think it will ever do and change the playoffs. Any changes are going to make the Week 1 game vs a division opponent (a la St. Louis) completely meaningless. Or a Week 3 opponent vs a team figuring to be in the race at the end (New Orleans) just that much more important.
Your 2013 Arizona Cardinals had chances to get into the playoffs, and even until that last drive were in a position to win 11 games but even that wouldn't have been enough, they needed 12 and a win over St. Louis or New Orleans would have punched their ticket and gave them a chance at the end for a win or go home game vs San Francisco.
Who ever we play in the first game next year, the Cardinals better be ready to play to win, because that could be the game that keeps them out of the 2014 playoffs, again.