What to like, dislike about 12 teams playing on Super Wild Card Weekend
What’s to like: Arizona has enjoyed its share of success this season, finishing with double-digit wins despite dealing with injuries to several star players. This team started the year with seven straight victories and then managed to take two of three games when quarterback Kyler Murray was sidelined with an ankle injury. The Cardinals also earned a huge win at Dallas in Week 16 that clinched a playoff spot and ended a three-game losing streak. As exciting as Arizona can be when it’s rolling on offense -- and Murray is one of the league’s most electric performers -- it’s that resilience that will determine how far they go in the postseason.
What’s not to like: The Cardinals produced a major dud in their season-ending loss to a Seattle team that had nothing to play for. The same run-defense issues that seemingly had been solved against Dallas reappeared against the Seahawks, as Rashaad Penny ran for 190 yards at 8.3 yards per rush. If the Cards can’t tackle more consistently, it’s going to be a rough road for them. The offense already hasn’t been as impressive with star receiver DeAndre Hopkins out with a knee injury. This team also has endured some mystifying losses, including blowouts to bottom-dwellers like Carolina and Detroit. The Cardinals looked like they were coming alive in that win over Dallas. They need to rediscover that magic in a hurry.
Bottom line: The Cardinals are easily the hardest team to decipher at this point in the season. They were the best team in the league at one point, and then they had the look of a team careening toward a meltdown. Their home loss to the floundering Seahawks doesn’t bode well, especially with a division title on the line. The Rams simply look more prepared for the postseason right now.