Advertising

Peterson's place, and the hope for the season after

One of the points I tried to make previously about why the Cardinals would not want to deal Patrick Peterson was with the NFL reality that teams can realistically make a jump from the bottom to the playoffs in one season. The NFL has proven that. Let's be clear -- like Peterson said about Michael Bidwill, I too am not a psychic. I don't know what will happen in 2019. (And, let's note, no one does, before the comments for this post come fast and furious.) All I can do is some research.

In the last decade of playoff appearances in the league, only one season -- 2014 -- was there not at least one playoff team that was last in their division the season before. Six times in 10 years there have been multiple teams that have gone from last place in the division to a playoff spot. Yes, sometimes the last-place team was 7-9 or 8-8, but then again, the terrible 2016 Los Angeles Rams (4-12) made the playoffs in 2017 and they weren't in last place in 2016. Early on this season, the Houston Texans are making the last-to-playoffs bid.

The percentages are still not great. That's a fact. Of the 120 playoff spots in those 10 years, 18 went to teams that were in last place the previous season. But it happens more than logic might suggest. We also have to see how the rest of this season happens to play out, especially with the changes on offense. The Cardinals also began 1-6 in 2011, and if Early Doucet hadn't dropped the ball in the Cincinnati end zone on Christmas Eve, that team probably would've gone 9-7. (I'm not saying such a turnaround is on deck in 2018.)

Nevertheless, with a rookie quarterback that you believe will take steps forward in his second year and a running back like David Johnson in the fold, it's not out of the question to believe the Cardinals can maneuver their way into postseason contention next season -- and a big reason why you wouldn't want to part with arguably the best cornerback in the game now.

Captains Corey Peters (98), Patrick Peterson (21) and Chandler Jones (55).
Captains Corey Peters (98), Patrick Peterson (21) and Chandler Jones (55).

Advertising