Final Verdict: It's been a bittersweet season in the desert.
Yes, the Cardinals can hang their heads high. Even after a 23-20 loss to the streaking San Francisco 49ers, the Redbirds won 10 games in Bruce Arians first year as head coach.
However, in the 2013 NFC West, all 10 wins got the Cardinals was the title of "best team in the NFL that didn't make the playoffs."
And that looks like crap on a t-shirt.
ESPN: 49ers (8-5)
CBS Sports: Cardinals (5-3)
NFL Network: Cardinals (3-0)
USA Today: Cardinals (5-2)
Bleacher Report: Tied (6-6)
Overall: Cardinals (24-19)
Every few years, a really good NFL team gets hosed by the football gods. Just last year, a 10-win Chicago Bears team missed the playoffs.
This season it's the Arizona Cardinals. With a win Sunday at home against the 49ers, the Cards will finish the season 11-5, but if the Saints beat the Buccaneers, it's no playoffs in the desert.
The Cardinals won't know by kickoff if they're playing for pride or the playoffs, but in any event, Bleacher Report NFC West Lead Writer Tyson Langland thinks the red-hot Redbirds will finish the regular season strong:
The Cardinals have won seven of eight and are looking to punch their first playoff ticket since 2009. They can make the playoffs with a win and a New Orleans loss.
With the way the Cardinals defense is playing, it’s hard to imagine the 49ers offense doing anything through the air. Additionally, they’ve only lost one game in the desert this season, and momentum has been in their favor down the stretch. Arizona wins a hard-fought battle with a last-second field goal.