Cardinals control No. 7 seed in NFC but could use help

Jess Root
·2 min read

The Arizona Cardinals, at 8-6, control the seventh and final playoff seed in the NFC. They hold a one-game over the Chicago Bear, who are 7-7. They defeated the Minnesota Vikings 33-27 on Sunday.

If the Cardinals don’t lose, the Bears can’t catch them.

However, if the Cardinals lose one of their two final games, things get a little dicey.

They must finish one game ahead of the Bears or they will lose a tiebreaker.

Arizona will clinch a playoff berth if they win one game and the Bears lose or tie once in their final two games.

If the Cardinals only win one more game, finishing 9-7, and the Bears win their final two games, finishing 9-7, the Cardinals get bumped from the final seed.

Why?

If the Cardinals and Bears are both 9-7, they would both have finished 7-5 in the NFC. The Cardinals and Bears did not play, so they would not use a head-to-head tiebreaker. Second in the tiebreaking procedures is to take conference record. That would be a tie as well, who it would move to record against common opponents.

Their common opponents are the Panthers, Lions, Giants and Rams. The Cardinals are 1-3 against those teams and could go 2-3 if they beat the Rams in Week 17.

Chicago is 3-2 in those games. They win the tiebreaker.

The Cardinals will face the San Francisco 49ers and Rams in their final two games. Winning both games will be tough.

The Bears will be on the road against the 1-13 Jacksonville Jaguars and will end the season on the road against the Green Bay Packers. Winning out is not out of the question, as the Jaguars are bad and the Packers might have locked up their playoff seeding and could rest players.

Of course, no one thought the Rams would lose to the winless New York Jets, but that happened on Sunday, so anything can happen.

In a nutshell, it would certainly be helpful for the Cardinals if the Bears lose next week. If they do and the Cardinals win, then they will have clinched a postseason berth for the first time since 2015.

Cardinals fans should be Jaguars fans in Week 16.

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