Quantcast
X

Have feedback / suggestions? Let us know!

NFL Arizona Cardinals

5 Games That Will Define Arizona Cardinals’ Season in 2014

5 Games That Will Define Arizona Cardinals' Season In 2014

Arizona Cardinals v San Francisco 49ers
Getty Images

The Cardinals won 10 games in 2013, but were unable to cement a playoff spot since the NFC West is brutal with two elite teams at the top in San Francisco and Seattle. St. Louis has improved also, but despite the tough competition, Arizona heads into the 2014 campaign believing they can make the postseason.

Here's a look at five games that will define the Cardinals' season in 2014.

5. Week 8 vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles v Arizona Cardinals
Getty Images

5. Week 8 vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles v Arizona Cardinals
Getty Images

Week 8 against the Eagles is the arguably the toughest non-divisional NFC matchup Arizona will encounter all season, and conference wins will be imperative to their ability to break ties in a virtually impregnable NFC west. With a bit of luck the Cardinals could be heading into this game at 4-2, and a win would work wonders for their confidence as they hit a stretch of six NFC contests which will decide their season.

4. Week 13 @ Atlanta Falcons

Arizona Cardinals v Atlanta Falcons
Getty Images

4. Week 13 @ Atlanta Falcons

Arizona Cardinals v Atlanta Falcons
Getty Images

Winning in Atlanta has not been easy during Matt Ryan's tenure with the Falcons, but Arizona needs this game in a major way. The Cardinals will likely be coming off a Week 12 loss in Seattle and need to gain momentum for their playoff push. If this matchup doesn't result in their eighth win of the season at minimum, it will be detrimental to their postseason aspirations.

3. Week 15 @ St. Louis Rams

Arizona Cardinals v St Louis Rams
Getty Images

3. Week 15 @ St. Louis Rams

Arizona Cardinals v St Louis Rams
Getty Images

It would be a huge boost to Arizona's playoff odds if they could go 4-2 against their own division. The Cardinals will find it quite the chore to beat either San Francisco or Seattle twice, leaving them with the improved Rams as their greatest chance. It's an indoor game in St. Louis, which is a break considering they don't have to travel to a frigid weather city so late in the season, and they must take advantage of the Rams' inexperience.

2. Week 16 vs. Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals
Getty Images

2. Week 16 vs. Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals
Getty Images

Arizona is in desperate need of splitting the season series with Seattle, making Week 16 put up or shut up time considering they will have probably already lost to the Seahawks during Week 12 in Seattle. The NFC playoff picture will start to become fairly clear by this game, so Arizona must hope the Seahawks have already established their seed for the postseason, and they can possibly play a team with little to play for.

1. Week 17 @ San Francisco 49ers

Arizona Cardinals v San Francisco 49ers
Getty Images

1. Week 17 @ San Francisco 49ers

Arizona Cardinals v San Francisco 49ers
Getty Images

San Francisco could easily need this game to cement a playoff berth if Seattle pulls away from the pack, and there's a chance these two squads could both be 9-6 or 10-5 needing one more win to make the playoffs. You have to be a physical team to go into San Francisco and beat them in a playoff setting, which the game would be in that scenario. That said, Arizona plays a similar game and it wouldn't shock me if they got it done in narrow fashion.

Timothy Downs is a St. Louis Rams/NFL writer for RantSports.com. You can add him on Google or follow on Twitter @Tidow1212.