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NFL playoff picture: How Cardinals’ loss to Lions impacts NFC No. 1 seed, NFC West races

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The Cardinals had been sitting fairly because the potential No. 1 seed within the NFC playoffs for many of the season. But after being shocked in an upset street loss to the NFC-worst Lions, they all of the sudden may have to accept a wild-card berth.

Arizona would have clinched no less than a playoff spot with a win over Detroit. Instead, the NFC West leaders fell to 10-4 with their second consecutive loss. Overall, the Cardinals have gone 3-4 of their previous seven video games.

Here’s how the most recent disappointing defeat impacts the Cardinals and the remainder of the NFC contenders:

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MORE: Updated full NFL playoff image for Week 15

NFL playoff image: NFC standings

The Cardinals began the day because the No. 3 seed behind the Packers (10-3) and Buccaneers (10-3). With the Cowboys (10-4) beating the Giants, the Cardinals fall to No. 4, as Dallas (8-1) has a a lot stronger convention file than Arizona (6-4) to maintain the tiebreaker.

The Packers (with a win whereas favored over the Ravens) and the Buccaneers (with a win whereas favored over the Saints) can every go up a full recreation on the Cardinals with three video games left to play. Arizona now has a slim probability of getting a top-two seed, not to mention No. 1 and sole home-field benefit within the NFC playoffs.

The Cardinals now want to fear extra about staying within the first place within the NFC West. Should the Rams, who beat them final week, defeat the Seahawks on Tuesday’s Week 15 recreation, they’d pull even with a 10-4 file. 

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But the Cardinals can’t fall beneath No. 4 going into Week 16. In a tie with the Rams, they’d nonetheless maintain the division-record edge, 4-1 vs. 3-2. They would have their work lower out, nonetheless, to end forward of the Rams after the ultimate three video games. The 49ers, with a win over the Falcons, can solely transfer inside two video games of the Cardinals, and must be thought-about out of the NFC West race as a possible wild-card crew in first place.

The Cardinals’ remaining schedule is hard, with the Colts (8-6) at dwelling subsequent in Week 16 and a visit to the Cowboys in Week 17. That means they’re ending wherever between the No. 3 seed and No. 5 seed.

The excellent news is, Arizona will nonetheless finish its five-season playoff drought within the NFC. Unfortunately, Kyler Murray and the Cardinals will now want to do it as a decrease seed within the playoffs as an alternative from the motive force’s seat.

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