The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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How Important Is Home Field Advantage For the Cardinals?

Road warriors or home bodies? That's a big question a lot of Cardinals fans are kicking around right now.

After improving to 7-0 on the road with a win in Chicago and sitting atop the NFC with a 10-2 record, would the Cardinals really be better off taking their act on the road in the postseason?

The Cardinals have played better on the road, thats a fact. Kliff Kingsbury knows the Cardinals road vs. home performance needs to get better.

So just how important is home field advantage for this particular group?

I think its pretty simple: home field advantage is and should be a huge priority for the Arizona Cardinals.

Home field would be a big advantage and not just for the obvious reasons. Traveling during COVID? Always a risk and COVID absences are significantly hirer this year in the NFL than last year. Controlling the elements is another. Sure, the Cards handled Mother Nature on Sunday in Chicago but I'd want to avoid a rematch against her in Lambeau Field in January.

Don't just take it from me, I asked six time Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb who played in 16 total playoffs in his career whether the Arizona Cardinals need the #1 seed and home field advantage:

"(The Cardinals) are playing for the number one seed. You're not gonna settle for second (place). I think what Cardinals fans don't realize is it's a little different atmosphere with (home playoff games). It's really for the fans to get fired up and juiced up about the moment. 
"...I was impressed with Kyler Murray and how he handled it. It was another opportunity for this football team to take a step forward. I thought James Conner played well, the offensive line, the defense. That's what happens when you come off the bye week: You either come out and you're on fire or you're lowering through it but you still do enough to win the game.

If the Cardinals are going to get to home field advantage, they'll have to hold off the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Green Bay Packers who are both just a game behind Arizona.

How would McNabb rank those team's chances in the NFC right now? Surprisingly, he didn't have the Cardinals in his top 3:

I think it's a 1a) and 1b) & 2a) and 2b) (scenario). I'd say Tampa Bay and then Green Bay. Then I'd choose Dallas. The 2b would be the Arizona Cardinals. I know what to expect from the Dallas Cowboys offense. The Arizona Cardinals are right there. So the top four for me is Tampa Bay, Green Bay, Dallas, Arizona.

With only five weeks left, we won't have to wait much longer to get answers to all of our playoff questions.

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