The Cardinals shocked everyone but perhaps themselves by emerging victorious in seven of their final nine games en route to a 10-6 record in 2013. As a resident of the NFC West, though, a postseason berth was blocked by eventual Super Bowl champion Seattle (13-3) and San Francisco (12-4), while New Orleans (11-5) nabbed the final wild-card spot. The regular season itself included a complete overhaul of the offense under the direction of first-year coach Bruce Arians, whose schemes helped elevate 2012's basement-dwelling attack to 12th in the league. Subsequently, with a semblance of support on the other side, a playmaking defense held the opposition to 20.2 points on a league-best 84.4 yards rushing per contest. In total, Arizona improved its lot by five wins, good for the third-greatest leap behind Kansas City (nine) and Philadelphia (six).
Much of the credit for the turnaround can be credited to the offseason pickup of Carson Palmer
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