Flush the Pocket will be your daily morning dose of the Arizona Cardinals. It’ll recap the top storyline from the previous day and give you a look at what everyone is saying locally and nationally.
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Of all the seasons for the Arizona Cardinals to find their winning ways, this was not the one to reap the benefits.
The narrative for the past couple of weeks has been Arizona may become the second team to go 11-5 and not make the playoffs since the NFL reorganized each conference into four divisions in 2002. While true, if Arizona goes 11-5 and misses the playoffs, it’ll be the second time since 1990, when the NFL went to its current playoff format, that’s happened, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Five teams have reached 11 wins and missed the playoffs dating back to the 1962 Detroit Lions (11-3) -- joining them are the 1963 Green Bay Packers (11-2-1), the 1967 Baltimore Colts (11-1-2), the 1985 Denver Broncos (11-5) and the 2008 New England Patriots (11-5).
This is the first season since 2002, however, that either conference enters the final weekend of the season without any of its divisional champions determined. Six NFC teams control their own destiny to earn division crowns, according to ESPN Stats & Information, including winner-take-all games in the NFC East and North. While Seattle, San Francisco and Carolina have all clinched playoff berths, none have won their respective divisions.
However, in the AFC, all four division champs have been decided as has one wild-card spot.
In other news ...
Bob McManaman of AZCentral.com writes about Arizona’s concern with 49ers WR Michael Crabtree.
Bob Young of AZCentral.com writes about Bruce Arians’ gifts that keep on giving.
Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com writes about Carson Palmer’s confidence.