Arizona Cardinals’ playoff scenarios hinge on Week 18 results

The Cardinals could still win the NFC West, or they could be ticketed for a wild card berth


Joe Glorioso (All-Pro Reels)

Kyler Murray was named a Pro Bowl selection again this season on the strength of his 28 total touchdowns.

For the first time in six years, Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals are headed to the NFL postseason. The intrigue now centers on where the team will finish in the standings and what seed they will secure.

The Cardinals defeated the NFC East-winning Dallas Cowboys 25-22 on Sunday, improving their record to 11-5. The 11-win total is the Cardinals’ highest since 2015, when they won 13 games and the division title.

“When you come back to the Cowboys’ stadium, it’s a big-time game. That’s the feel around it,” quarterback Murray said after the game. “The guys, I’m glad they had my back today.”

Arizona is favored to win the regular season finale next Sunday, when the 6-10 Seattle Seahawks fly into State Farm Stadium. A 12th victory, along with some help elsewhere, could see the Cardinals clinch the NFC West and the conference’s second seed.

If the Cardinals beat Seattle next week and the Rams lose in Los Angeles to the San Francisco 49ers, Kliff Kingsbury’s team will finish 12-5 and end the season as division winners. They will host a Wild Card game as either the #2 or #3 seed in the NFC, and in this scenario, Arizona would face the rival 49ers (if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win) or the Philadelphia Eagles (if the Buccaneers lose to the Carolina Panthers).

The Cardinals have never faced San Francisco in the NFL postseason, and last faced the Eagles in the 2008 NFC Championship game.

All other scenarios will see the Cardinals play on the road to begin the playoffs. Arizona will play the Rams at SoFi Stadium if the Seahawks, 49ers, Cowboys, and Bucs all win. If Tampa Bay loses, the reigning Super Bowl champions will host the Cardinals.

Any other combination will see the Cardinals return to Dallas to kick off the postseason, and the team’s quest to return to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 2008 season.