NFL Playoff Picture: How Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals Can Clinch the NFC West in Week 18

Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals have secured a playoff spot for the second straight season. It hasn’t been pretty for Kliff Kingsbury’s team, but they have managed to fight off a ton of injuries and earn a postseason berth.

Fresh off a victory over the Dallas Cowboys, the Cardinals are fighting for a chance to claim the NFC West division crown — and a home game in the playoffs.

The Cardinals secured a playoff spot despite another brutal stretch

The Cardinals ran out to a monster start for the second time in the past two years. They sat at 7-0 before losing to the Green Bay Packers in a Thursday night thriller at the end of October.

Since the 7-0 start, the Cardinals have gone 4-5, including a three-game losing streak with the low loss to the Detroit Lions.

Nonetheless, Arizona has earned a spot in the postseason tournament and stunned the Cowboys in Dallas as Murray continues his impressive play at AT&T Stadium.

In Week 18, the Cardinals are searching for a division title.

The Cardinals can clinch the NFC West with a victory over the Seahawks and some help

Believe it or not, there is a path for the Cardinals to win the NFC West despite a rough stretch. First things first, they need to defeat the Seattle Seahawks.

Could this be Russell Wilson’s final game in Seattle? Could this be Pete Carroll’s last game on the sideline?

Either way, the Seahawks are 6-10 and the Cardinals should win this game, although we have seen how wacky this NFL season has been.

The Cardinals also need help from the San Francisco 49ers, who play the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. The 49ers need a win — or a New Orleans Saints loss — to get in themselves despite having the same record as the Philadelphia Eagles.

Moreover, a 49ers victory over the Rams would give the Cardinals the NFC West crown if Murray and company can get past the Seahawks. If that does happen, the Cardinals and 49ers will face off in the playoffs.

Being a Wild Card team and a division winner makes a huge difference every year, but, oddly enough, the Cardinals have lost four games at home this season.

The 49ers-Rams and Seahawks-Cardinals games are in the second slate on Sunday, so these teams might keep one eye on the scoreboard.

These two teams met back in November and Kyler Murray missed the game

Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray against the Colts.
Kyler Murray | Chris Coduto/Getty Images

The Cardinals already topped the Seahawks back in November, 23-13.

Murray missed the game, prompting Colt McCoy to get the start, and did he deliver. McCoy finished that game with a 35-of-44 clip for 328 yards and two touchdowns.

That was Russell Wilson’s second game back from injury for the Seahawks, and he didn’t play too well. This time around, emotions might be running high in the Seahawks locker room with so much uncertainty.

Questions have swirled all offseason about Wilson’s future, and Carroll’s name has also been discussed. Essentially, the Seahawks have nothing to play for, while the Cardinals have many incentives.

With Murray’s group fresh off a nice win over the Cowboys, they will be trying their best to build momentum and piece this back together just in time for the playoffs.

The NFC West crown isn’t too far off for Arizona.

Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference

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