Balanced Cardinals Primed For Big Finish

The nest is a popular place to be right now.

After slapping around the Green Bay Packers Sunday the Arizona Cardinals (13-2) are surging towards the playoffs and, thanks to a handful of spotlight games over the past couple months, becoming a Super Bowl darling just over five weeks before the NFL’s biggest dance.

Despite clinching the NFC West and a first-round bye head coach Bruce Arians is keeping his team grounded, focused and ready for each challenge one week at a time.

Still, the noise surrounding the league’s hottest, arguably most-balanced team is hard to ignore.

“The bottom line is,” SI.com senior NFL writer Peter King told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat. “This is a team that…over the last couple months held teams to single digits and is the highest scoring team in football.”

Hard to believe the Cards have more total touchdowns through 15 games (56), than punts (54).

“I think they’re the most complete team if you look at what they’re doing on offense and defense,” Super Bowl champion coach, now ESPN analyst Mike Ditka said Monday night.

Despite sacking Aaron Rodgers nine times, returning two fumbles for touchdowns and out-gaining Green Bay 381-178 Arians insisted his team was far from perfect.

Maybe not “perfect” by the head coaches’ standards but pushing around another double-digit win playoff team is awfully impressive. Arians plans on playing his starters in Sunday’s regular season finale against NFC West nemesis Seattle.

“We will approach this game as if it were Game 1 of the season,” he said.

Arizona would clinch the number one seed in the conference with a Panthers home loss to Tampa Bay, coupled with a Cards win at University of Phoenix Stadium.

The Cardinals are flying their highest at just the right time.

Count King as one of the Bird Gang’s biggest believers.

“All is on the up with the Arizona Cardinals.”

Timing is everything.

 

A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.