During the regular season, the Arizona Cardinals played two of the three teams they may face in their home playoff game on Saturday, Jan. 16.
The Cards blew out the Green Bay Packers in Week 16 but barely escaped against the Minnesota Vikings two weeks earlier. And then, there are the streaking Washington Redskins, whom the Cards have yet to play this season.
If the Vikings upset the Seahawks on Sunday, the Vikes will travel to Glendale to take on the Cards next weekend. If Seattle wins that game, the winner of Sunday's Redskins-Packers matchup in Washington will head to the Valley.
Which potential postseason matchup favors the Cardinals the most? Here's a pros-and-cons list for all three teams.
Minnesota Vikings (11-5) - No. 3 seed; first place in NFC North
Bring 'em on: The Cardinals won a hard-fought game against the Vikings in Glendale on Thursday night four weeks ago. In that game, the Cards did an excellent job of bottling up Adrian Peterson in the second half, and they won the turnover battle by a 3-0 margin.
Upon further review: Despite a last-second fumble that doomed his team, Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater lit up the Cards to the tune of 335 yards on 25 of 36 passing in their regular-season matchup. And would you really want to face a team whose confidence will be sky-high just one week after knocking off the two-time defending NFC champions?
Washington Redskins (9-7) - No. 4 seed; first place in NFC East
Bring 'em on: The Redskins haven’t beaten an above-.500 team all season (and the Packers haven’t played like an above-.500 team in weeks). They’re only 3-5 on the road, and only four NFL teams allowed more yards per game in the regular season than Washington did.
Upon further review: After opening the season 0-5 on the road, the Redskins have won their last three games away from home. QB Kirk Cousins has the fifth best passer rating (101.6) and the best completion percentage (69.8) in the NFL. There's also that fear of the unknown, as the Cards haven’t faced the Redskins this season.
Green Bay Packers (10-6) - No. 5 seed; second place in NFC North
Bring 'em on: Week 16. Oh, and the Packers have lost six of their last 10 games after opening the season 6-0, and their rushing defense is among the worst in the NFL, allowing 4.5 yards per carry and 119.1 yards per game.
Upon further review: The Packers still have Super Bowl champion Aaron Rodgers, who has won plenty of games in hostile environments. Also, there’s the outside chance that Green Bay has a chip on its shoulder after its 30-point defeat in Glendale two weeks ago. And then, there’s all that Packer green that would pollute UOP Stadium for the second time in less than a month.