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Ryan Lindley has Bruce Arians confident in Cardinals

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The Arizona Cardinals might be surprising underdogs against a postseason opponent with four fewer wins, but coach Bruce Arians is more confident in his quarterback situation than he was a week ago.

Ryan Lindley tossed his first two NFL touchdown passes en route to a career-high 316 yards in Sunday's Week 17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

"Obviously, we're all much more comfortable with Ryan after his performance today," Arians said after the game, via the Arizona Republic. "And we look forward to the challenge."

Lindley did make tangible progress, showing increased poise both in the huddle and in the pocket. Although he was also more accurate, his decision-making is still in question after throwing three interceptions and another pass that should have been picked.

Perhaps most importantly, Lindley has the support of his teammates.

"I told Ryan if he's our quarterback and he's the one leading us, I believe he can win a Super Bowl," Pro Bowl defensive end Calais Campbell said. "That's just the way it is. He's a great player when he gets into a rhythm. He's young, he'll make young mistakes. But he showed he can make every throw. He showed he knows where to go (with the football). He made good reads. He gained a lot of belief from a lot of people today."

Entering January, the spotlight is on Campbell's defensive mates as well as Lindley.

Whereas the suddenly streaking Carolina Panthers have played shutdown defense of late, the Cardinals have allowed an average of nearly 500 yards to the Seahawks and 49ers the past two weeks.

Given the quality of play down the stretch, it should be no surprise if the historically inept NFC South earns a postseason victory next week.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps every Week 17 game and debates the MVP race between Aaron Rodgers and J.J. Watt. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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