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Arizona Cardinals news 12/12: Playoff ticket punched, mini-bye week

Some Cardinals and NFL stories leading up to a weekend without the Cardinals playing.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals have the rest of the weekend off. They are a playoff team. They want more, though. But with the weekend starting and the Cardinals not playing in it, here are some articles to get you through Saturday at least.

Cardinals:

Cardinals Blogs | Vikings aftermath, with a playoff berth
There is nothing better than a mini-bye if you can get the win in a Thursday game. The Cardinals should be getting a good chunk of their banged-up guys back for Philly.

Cardinals Blogs | Peterson continues to be shutdown corner
Stefon Diggs is having a pretty good rookie season for the Vikings. But he couldn’t do much of anything against Patrick Peterson Thursday night. Diggs finished with just two catches for a scant 12 yards with Peterson covering him most of the game. (Full disclosure — Peterson was flagged twice for defensive holding. Both were declined.)

Pasch Factor: David Johnson's Future

Rookie running back has the tools for a very good career

Playoffs Coming Into Focus For Cardinals

Arians wants better play, but NFC West, postseason bye within reach

Huddle Up With John Brown

The Cardinals wide receiver discusses the origin of his dancing skills

After first TD drive, Arizona Cardinals corralled Adrian Peterson - Arizona Cardinals Blog- ESPN

After running for 38 yards on the Vikings' first drive, Adrian Peterson finished the game with just 69 yards rushing.

Why Arizona Cardinals Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd ran same route - Arizona Cardinals Blog- ESPN

Why were Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd within feet of each other on Floyd's 42-yard score?

No NFL approval didn't stop Bruce Arians from wearing hat Thursday - Arizona Cardinals Blog- ESPN

Against NFL rules, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians wore his signature cap in support of his family's foundation during Thursday game. Will he be fined?

Game-winning kicks becoming old hat for Cardinals' Chandler Catanzaro - Arizona Cardinals Blog- ESPN

The Cardinals' kicker came through in the clutch again Thursday night, with a late 47-yard field goal that turned out to be a game-winner.

Arizona Cardinals hope off weekend helps injured players recover - Arizona Cardinals Blog- ESPN

The Cardinals have come out the other side of the Thursday game ringer, meaning they now get the boost of an extra four days off.

Cardinals clinch playoff berth, set bigger goals | FOX Sports

The Cardinals are 3 games up on second-place Seattle in the NFC West and 2 ahead of their closest competitor for that No. 2 seed, the Green Bay Packers. The Carolina Panthers are undefeated and hold the top spot.

Cardinals' "desire" and "fight" has them in prime condition for the playoffs - NBCSPORTS1060.COM

The Arizona Cardinals got past their first major hurdle in making the playoffs: They needed to beat the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night to clinch a spot in the Big Dance, and they did just that.

Dwight Freeney's sack earns him a raise, Cardinals a win

The team leader in that category, it was easily Freeney's biggest sack of the season. After all, it might very well have saved the game.

NFL:

The Jets are counting on Brandon Marshall - SBNation.com

Brandon Marshall "has become a huge chip" for the Jets and a big part of the reason for that team's turnaround this year. For the veteran receiver, he's finally found a team that's the perfect fit.

Cam Newton's deep throws buried the Saints, with a little help from the Saints - SBNation.com

The Panthers used the deep ball to bury the Saints, further cementing Cam Newton's MVP credentials and revealing just how bad the Saints defense is. Retired NFL defensive end Stephen White breaks it down.

The NFL playoff race could be decided while you're taking a bathroom break - SBNation.com

Special teams play is overlooked on most Sundays, but for the teams scrapping along and fighting for last few playoff seeds, it will be the deciding factor.

Vikings defend dumb play that resulted in game-ending fumble - SBNation.com

Teddy Bridgewater told reporters he was trying to throw the ball out of bounds because the clock in his head told him pressure was on the way.

The year the NFL got weird - SBNation.com

The 2015 season has felt like a slog most weeks, but the little things have kept it interesting.

A very candid look at the NFL playoff picture - SBNation.com

This week on the Family Hour ... Stephen White, Danny Kelly and RVB get to the bottom of which teams are going to make it to the playoffs, which ones will have home-field advantage, and who will win the awful NFC East. We also talk about the refs.

The Arizona Cardinals punched their ticket to the playoffs - SBNation.com

The Arizona Cardinals are going to the playoffs thanks to their 11th win of the season on Thursday night.

FanDuel, DraftKings still operational in New York after court grants them stay - SBNation.com

A judge granted an injunction against the daily fantasy sports giants Friday.

Adam Schefter is wrong, you should go see 'Concussion' - SBNation.com

On Christmas Day, Concussion will be released nationwide in movie theaters. The movie details the story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, and his work discovering and publicizing the issue of chronic traumatic...

The Rams-Buccaneers Color Rush jerseys were inspired by condiments - SBNation.com

Ketchup vs. Mustard

Blaine Gabbert is playing just well enough to screw over the 49ers - SBNation.com

Gabbert will have his chance to earn the job in 2016, but the 49ers shouldn't give it to him before then.