After more than eight weeks, the Arizona Cardinals are no longer sitting at the throne of the NFC West. They’ve been dethroned by the Los Angeles Rams last weekend.
The shift in the divisional table happened after the Cardinals lost three games straight, which made their record 10-5. The Rams now have an 11-4 record, meaning that there’s still a chance for the Cardinals to reclaim the #1 position in their division.
The bad news for the Cards is that their next opponent is another team that’s 11-4 ahead of Week 17. The team in question is the Dallas Cowboys, who are officially the NFC East champions since last Sunday.
Cardinals vs Cowboys 2021 Betting Odds
*Odds was taken from FanDuel Arizona on December 27, 2021.
The Cardinals Need a Win ASAP
The good news for the Cardinals is that no matter what happens in the remainder of the season, they will qualify for the playoffs. The bad news is that they’re not favored to win the divisional title anymore.
They were strong favorites, though, until relatively recently. After starting the season in top gear and getting to 7-0, their form started dropping. Their worst month so far has been December, in which we saw the Cards losing three games.
Not only did they lose them, but they also embarrassed themselves. This goes especially for the game with the Detroit Lions – the NFL’s worst team – which they lost 30-12.
On the bright side for the Cardinals, they still have a chance to win the NFC West. For that to happen, however, they need to see the Rams losing at least one game. More importantly, the Cards need to win their games.
It’s not going to be easy, especially because their opponent in Week 17 is Dallas, a team that’s just won the NFC East division.
The Cowboys Don’t Want to Risk Any Injuries
Mike McCarthy’s boys have done their regular-season job. They’ve booked the ticket to the playoffs. Not only that, but they’ve also made sure no one’s going to be able to take the divisional title from them no matter what happens in the remainder of the season.
That said, the Cowboys can now switch their focus on preparing for the playoffs. At this point, the most important thing is to ensure their key men remain healthy and fit for the postseason. What this means is that it’s possible that McCarthy is going to bench some of his key men in Week 17.
Rather than risking an injury to Dak Prescott or some other crucial player, he could decide to give some youngsters a chance to gain valuable experience. If he does that, the Cardinals should have a much easier job.
Cardinals vs Cowboys Prediction
The Cardinals need a win to stay in the race for the NFC West title. Equally importantly, they need to end their losing streak to give themselves a morale boost ahead of the playoffs.
Knowing how much talent they have on the roster, doing such a thing shouldn’t be too much of a problem, especially not against a team that’s already in a celebratory mood.
- Arizona Cardinals ML