In week 12, one would have thought that Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts would be coming into their matchup with the Arizona Cardinals ready to prove they are indeed still an elite AFC squad in search of a Super Bowl. In a division that really isn’t giving them much competition, the Colts didn’t see this as a must-win, but they sure would have liked to get a victory.
The Cardinals flat out dominated the Colts in every aspect of the word. Carson Palmer had another strong showing, passing for 314 yards and tossing two touchdowns to his favorite wideout Larry Fitzgerald. Linebacker Karlos Dansby also had himself an interception returned for a touchdown as the defense held the Colts to just 11 points Sunday.
Now having won four straight, at 7-4 the Cardinals are beginning to look like a very solid football team. With a drubbing of the Colts, Arizona has put themselves in a great position at the moment to make a run at the final playoff spot. The rest of the NFC should take notice of these under-the-radar Cardinals, also, because they seem to be hitting their stride at just the right time.
The rest of the way, the Cardinals still have a tough schedule. They’ve got to play a suddenly-improved St. Louis Rams team with not only a pretty legitimate defense but a scary running game. Aside from the Rams, the Cardinals also play the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers in the remaining two weeks of the year.
Right now, the Cardinals have moved ahead of the 49ers into the final playoff spot in the NFC with San Francisco playing the Washington Redskins Monday night. If the 49ers were to win, they would own the tiebreaker due to a better divisional record.
For now, the Cardinals can enjoy a fantastic win and look forward to ending the season, hopefully, with a playoff berth. If both sides of the ball continue to come together like they have in recent weeks, Arizona could surprise not only their division but the conference.