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NFC playoff picture: Week 15 games that matter for the Arizona Cardinals

Games to pay attention to and who to root for

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals don't play until the late game, but there are plenty of games that matter for them as Arizona continues their quest for a Super Bowl run. Arizona has clinched a playoff spot, but as Bruce Arians said, they want to upgrade their ticket to first class and get a first round bye.

Of course we root for the Cardinals to win, but here are other games that matter and who Cardinals fans should root for.

One game is already done that helps Arizona and that was the Saturday game between the Jets and Cowboys. With the Jets winning, it helps the Cardinals with their strength of victory, as the Seahawks beat the Cowboys earlier this season. Strength of victory will come into play should the Cardinals lose their final three games and the Seahawks win all theirs. Arizona now has a four-game lead in that department.

Here are the other games:

Panthers at Giants

The Panthers are the number one seed right now, the only team  the Cardinals trail. Root for the Giants to win, as that can get the Cardinals closer to them. If the Cardinals can somehow tie the Panthers' record, they will hold the tie breaking advantage and earn home field throughout the playoffs. Go Giants! Go Eli Manning!

Browns at Seahawks

Arizona doesn't need the Seahawks to lose. The Cardinals can lock up the division on their own with a win, but we never want the Seahawks to win, so go Browns.

Packers at Raiders

Although the Cardinals can lock up the number two seed and a first round bye next week by beating the Packers, they can also secure the number two seed with a win over the Eagles coupled with a Packers loss in Oakland. It would be nice to have next week's game not matter, especially since there are reports there will be a large Packers crowd in attendance. Go Raiders!

Broncos at Steelers

While this is an AFC game, this game comes into play for strength of victory. It hurts the Seahawks if the Steelers lose. Things that hurt the Seahawks are good for Cardinals fans. It is one of the games that could help the Cardinals lock up the division, regardless of the outcome of their own game or the game between the Seahawks and Browns. Plus, an added benefit is seeing the Steelers lose. So, let's go Brock Osweiler!

Bengals at 49ers

The Cardinals beat the Bengals. They also beat the 49ers. But the Seahawks beat the Niners and not the Bengals. A Cincy win hurts Seattle again in strength of victory. So we have two reasons to see the Bengals win. One is because we always like seeing the 49ers lose. The other is a Bengals loss hurts the Seahawks. It is a win-win for Cardinals fans.

Lions at Saints (MNF)

The Cardinals and Seahawks both beat the Lions. But the Cardinals also defeated the Saints in Week 1. Seattle didn't play them. With strength of victory coming into play, it is better for Arizona to see the Saints win. Of course, by Monday night, this game might not even matter, but entering the week it does. So go Saints!