By Danny Cox

Everyone knew that the Arizona Cardinals had a good team coming into this season, but they may not have realized just how good. It if weren’t for the miraculous season that the Carolina Panthers had, the Cardinals would easily be the number one seed in the NFC and on a clear home-field path to Super Bowl 50.

Still, they have a first-round bye in the 2016 NFL Playoffs and many don’t see them anymore as a team that may or could get far in the playoffs. A lot are now seeing them as the favorite to head to Santa Clara, California, and win the whole thing.

Cardinals thankful for No. 2 seed and first-round bye in the playoffs

The final game of the regular season was not how the Cardinals wanted to end 2015. A 36-6 throttling at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks does not represent the team’s 13-3 record this season, but it was still hard to take. Still, they ended up as the number two seed in the NFC and have a first-round bye in the playoffs.

It’s hard to know who they will end up playing as it could be one of three teams. Knowing that, the bye week is a blessing for them as they will spend Wednesday prepping for the Green Bay Packers, Thursday is for the Minnesota Vikings, and then the Washington Redskins on Friday.

Once the weekend is over, they will know who is heading to Arizona to face off with them, and they’ll already have one day of prep for any of the three. This extra week may not jam-packed with work, but extra preparation surely can’t hurt.

Many have Arizona Cardinals as the early favorite to win the Super Bowl

The Cardinals have started the postseason out in an unfamiliar position for them and it’s as a favorite to win some Super Bowl rings. Betting odds currently have them tied with the Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots as the overall favorites to win Super Bowl 50.

Going through all of the mathematic calculations and formulas, numerous sports experts and sites also have the Arizona Cardinals as the frontrunner to win it all. Many are just totally ignoring the final loss of the season and know it isn’t a direct view of how good this team truly is.

An early-season loss to the St. Louis Rams is long forgotten. A midseason loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers is still on the minds of some, but understood since it is a playoff team. After that, it was nine straight wins until the loss to Seattle in the season finale, but that’s all in the past now.

Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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