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Examining Arizona's Remaining Schedule

At 6-7, the Cardinals only real shot at the playoffs is winning out and hoping for a Wild Card bid. To see just how likely that is, I've taken a look at the team's remaining schedule.

But before getting to that, let's take a look at how the Wild Card race is shaping up. There are currently 10 teams with a record of 6-7 or better and three teams have already locked up a spot in the playoffs by winning the division.

That leaves Arizona to contend with five teams for a Wild Card spot: New York (Giants) (9-4), Minnesota (7-6), Washington (6-7), Detroit (6-7), and either Tampa Bay (8-5) or New Orleans (6-7). Clearly, Arizona also needs a few of the chips to fall in their favor, but it's also obvious anything less than a 9-7 record will simply not do.

Now, onto the schedule:

This Week: @ New Orleans

The Saints are one of the hottest teams in football and they'll be a tough takedown. Certainly the game will be one to see, as both teams have playoff aspirations. Basically, the loser of the game will be out for good.

Luckily, the Cardinals have one thing working in their favor: New Orleans defense. Though vastly improved since the beginning of the season, it's still very much vulnerable.

Arizona absolutely must win this game.

Next Week: Atlanta

I like Arizona's odds at home against Atlanta. There are few teams in the NFL with a worse quarterback or situation than the Falcons and Arizona should be able to take advantage. This is the easiest of Arizona's final three games.

The Week After: St. Louis

St. Louis is still incredibly inconsistent and their 3-10 record is a testament to that, though they have won a few games as of late. That said, Arizona should be able to go through their defense and make enough plays when St. Louis has possession to win this game and make the postseason.

The Projection: Looking at the schedule, it isn't unlikely the Cardinals make the playoffs if they play sound, fundamental football. Unfortunately, the team seems to crumble when things matter most, so we'll have to see.

I project a 8-8 record.