The Arizona Cardinals would be the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs if the postseason were to begin after Week 11.
Not bad for a team that hasn't been to the NFL playoffs since 2015.
The team currently sits at 9-2, the best record in the NFL.
It is on its bye this week, so it can't help its own chances by moving to 10-2.
But it can get a boost in its playoff chances with some help from other teams.
The top seed in each conference gets a bye in the playoffs and the other division winners get the No. 2 through No 4 seeds. The No. 5, No. 6 and No. 7 seeds go to the non-division winners with the best records.
How can the Cardinals get closer to clinching a playoff berth, and earning the No. 1 seed in the NFC postseason?
Here's a breakdown of what to root for in Week 12 of the NFL season to help Arizona's chances.
Green Bay Packers or Los Angeles Rams?
The Cardinals are going to benefit from the result of the Packers vs. Rams game in Week 12, but what result would be best? It depends on what your goals for the Cardinals are this season.
If you want the Cardinals to win the NFC West, a Packers win at home against the Rams would give Arizona some more room in the division race by dropping Los Angeles to 7-4 overall.
If you want the Cardinals to get the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC, and that first-round bye that comes with it, then the Rams beating the Packers is probably the better result. That would put Green Bay, which owns the head-to-head tie breaker over Arizona thanks to its win in Glendale earlier this season, at 8-4, giving the Cardinals some more room over the Packers for home-field advantage in the conference postseason.
My thoughts? Pull for the Rams this week to beat the Packers. It would drop Green Bay and the Cardinals would still be a game ahead of Los Angeles, who Arizona plays at home in Week 14. Take care of business there and the Cardinals are in prime position for the top seed in the NFC.
No matter the result, however, the Cardinals will be winners in the Rams vs. Packers game in Week 12.
For Cardinals to get the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs
Raiders over Cowboys: The Cowboys are 7-3 on the season, so a loss against Las Vegas would give Arizona a bigger lead over Dallas in the race for the No. 1 NFC playoff seed.
Colts over Buccaneers: The 7-3 Buccaneers are on the Cardinals' heels in the NFC, so an Indianapolis win would greatly help Arizona.
Packers over Rams/Rams over Packers: Either result would technically help the Cardinals as the Rams are 7-3 and the Packers are 8-3 on the season.
For Cardinals to win the NFC West
Packers over Rams: A Packers win would put the Rams at 7-4, two games behind the 9-2 Cardinals entering Week 13 of the NFL season.
Vikings over 49ers: The 49ers are 5-5 on the season, but it never hurts to see a division rival fall even further back in the division race.
Washington over Seahawks: The Seahawks are 3-7. They are not in the division race. It doesn't hurt to see them even more out of it, however.
For Cardinals to get closer to clinching a playoff berth:
Vikings over 49ers/49ers over Vikings: These teams are both 5-5 and in the NFC playoff hunt, so the Cardinals' will benefit with either result.
Giants over Eagles: A Giants win would put the Eagles at 5-7 on the season, hurting their NFC playoff chances.
Bills over Saints: The Saints are 5-5 and currently in the final NFC playoff spot.
Dolphins over Panthers: A Miami win would put the Panthers, who are fighting for an NFC berth, at 5-7 on the season.
Jaguars over Falcons: Jacksonville could essentially knock the 4-6 Falcons out of the NFC playoff race.
Seahawks over Washington: Seattle is 3-7 and Washington is 4-6. Both teams at 4-7 would probably be out of the NFC playoff race.
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona Cardinals 2021 NFL playoffs rooting guide NFL Week 12 games
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