GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Cardinals took their first-round playoff bye in Week 17. They'll hear about their futility all week before getting another chance against Green Bay in the wild-card round.
Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt named several key players inactive after the Vikings' victory over the Giants prevented Arizona from challenging for the No. 2 seed. Quarterback Kurt Warner played far less than Packers counterpart Aaron Rodgers. Whisenhunt, perhaps mindful of his team's postseason experience, felt OK coasting into the playoffs.
Arizona did have something to gain by winning. A victory would have left the Cardinals with the No. 3 seed in the NFC instead of the fourth seed. The wild-card matchup against Green Bay would have remained the same, but the outcome Sunday sends the Cardinals to New Orleans instead of Minnesota if both Dallas and Arizona win in the wild-card round.
The Packers haven't proven themselves in the playoffs yet. Perhaps their victory Sunday will help their confidence or give them momentum. They had the clear edge even when both teams had most of their starters in the game. Arizona apparently didn't care.
Arizona lost cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and receiver Anquan Boldin to injuries. Rodgers-Cromartie's injury appeared serious, but the Cardinals said it was a knee contusion and his return was questionable. Boldin injured his left ankle.
Their injury status is important. I'll be heading down to the locker room to find out more, and to see what the Cardinals think this performance means.