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Arizona Cardinals Win Keeps Playoff Hopes Alive

While many did not see their game against the 49ers as a must win, it really was.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The reality of the 2016 NFL season seemed to hit the Arizona Cardinals just before half time of their Thursday Night Football match up with the San Francisco 49ers, Chandler Jones, Calais Campbell and then Larry Fitzgerald turned the tide of the season.

While maybe a 1-4 start would not have marked the end of the season, it would have created a near impossible scenario of making the NFL playoffs.

The Cardinals playoff chances sat at a paltry 15% before the game started, and a loss would have dropped it to 5%, meaning that the season would have been all but over for the Arizona Cardinals.

A win moved that record up quite a bit, putting them now at 22% to make the playoffs.

More importantly for the Arizona Cardinals, it showed them the reality of what their strength is as a team. If they ride David Johnson, this team can beat anyone. Yes, it was the San Francisco 49ers, but all season Johnson has been able to gain yards. Now add in a healthy Carson Palmer who can do things that Drew Stanton could never do, and it could be a dangerous result for the Arizona Cardinals opponents moving forward.

It was close to being a lost season, but the leaders of the team stepped up, and turned it around.

That is what the Arizona Cardinals needed.