The Rise of the NFC West and the Poor Cardinals

Only a few short years ago, on a cold night just a handful of hours into the 2010 calendar year, two 6-9 teams met in Seattle with the NFC West Division title on the line.  In an ugly 16-6 game, the Seahawks defeated the St. Louis Rams and became the first team in NFL history to enter the playoffs with a losing record of 7-9.  The NFC West was a disgrace and a mockery.

Boy how quickly the NFL can change.  The 10-6 Philadelphia Eagles just barely won an NFC East that used to be an annual powerhouse.  On the flipside, the NFC West has turned from offensively inglorious to impressively exclusive.

For only the fourth time since 1988, the Arizona Cardinals finished the season above the .500 mark.  However, unlike the dream season in 2008 where the streaking Cardinals were a mere minutes away from winning the Super Bowl or the 2009 season where defending their NFC West title before being ousted by the eventual champion New Orleans Saints, the 2013 team from Arizona has nothing to show for their strong 10-6 record.

Even with their defeat of the lauded Seahawks in Week 16, the Cardinals found themselves in the worst possible position.  No playoffs.  Mediocre draft-pick.  The team that just barely misses the playoffs, in any sport, is always in the worst position.

After years of getting bullied in the AFC North, Carson Palmer once again got bullied out of another playoff appearance.  I bet a lot of you didn’t even know Palmer was still in the NFL.  Heck, midway through the season I even had the Cards making a legitimate push for a wildcard spot.

Just like it was tough to see the 2008 Patriots left out of the playoffs with their 11-5 record, I can understand how Cardinals fans feel.  Cardinals fans? Anyone out there?

Hey Arizona look on the bright side, you’ve made great strides since the sun poisoned days of Sun Devil Stadium in the early 2000’s

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