Comments Share Asked Monday what his team must do in order to have success in the playoffs, Arians said nothing special.“Just play to our own strengths,” he said. “When we play with passion and energy, we don’t miss tackles. We do a much better job following bootlegs and things like that. We’re more focused. Offensively, just catch the damn ball. It’s not like we’ve dropped a lot of balls this year, but we dropped a bunch in that game (vs. Seattle), which was a total lack of focus.” – / 39 The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires 3. Arizona CardinalsFPI rank: firstEPA rankings: first offense, third defenseComment: Coach Bruce Arians wrote off the Cardinals’ 36-6 defeat to Seattle as a “good wake-up call” heading into the playoffs. He might be right, but there is little precedent. This was the third-worst Week 17 defeat for a playoff team since the NFL realigned to eight divisions in 2002. Only the 2005 and 2009 Cincinnati Bengals lost by more in Week 17 before entering the playoffs.Carson Palmer has been much better for this Cardinals team than he was for those Bengals teams. He led the league in Total QBR (82.1) and was the most consistently productive quarterback in the NFL this season. While he made it through the regular season without suffering another knee injury, an injured right index finger did affect him in the final two games. The bye week gives Palmer’s finger time to heal while letting his 36-year-old body rest following a 16-game grind. That should be big for Arizona.Prior to Sunday’s defeat, the Cardinals had won nine games in a row — with one of the victories coming over the Seahawks in Seattle.Arizona finished the season ranked first in the NFL in total offense, averaging 408.3 yards per game, and second in points per game at 30.6. The Cardinals are also fifth in total defense, allowing 321.7 yards per game, and seventh in points allowed per game, at 19.6. Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) throws against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) The regular season is a thing of the past. Now, it’s time for the playoffs.The Arizona Cardinals enter the postseason with a 13-3 record to go along with the second seed in the NFC. They are the favorites to win the Super Bowl according to the Las Vegas oddsmakers, and could very well be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy at Levi’s Stadium next month.Time will tell, but as the playoffs get set to kick off, ESPN NFL writer Mike Sando, in his playoff team rankings (ESPN Insider), has the Cardinals sitting third behind No. 1 Seattle and No. 2 Carolina.
For the fifth consecutive year, the Commonwealth Fund listed the U.S. last in a ranking of health systems of Western industrialized nations. The rankings looked at quality, outcomes and efficiency.The Washington Post: Once Again, U.S. Has Most Expensive, Least Effective Health Care System In SurveyA report released Monday by a respected think tank ranks the United States dead last in the quality of its health-care system when compared with 10 other western, industrialized nations, the same spot it occupied in four previous studies by the same organization. Not only did the U.S. fail to move up between 2004 and 2014 — as other nations did with concerted effort and significant reforms — it also has maintained this dubious distinction while spending far more per capita ($8,508) on health care than Norway ($5,669), which has the second most expensive system (Bernstein, 6/16).Politico Pro: U.S. Ranks Last On International Health ScorecardThe United States finished last on the Commonwealth Fund’s international ranking of industrialized health systems for the fifth consecutive time. But the report’s authors are optimistic that next time around, the Affordable Care Act will help boost America in the rankings. That lackluster performance comes even though the U.S. spends $8,508 per person in 2011, thousands more than the top-ranked country, the United Kingdom, which spent just $3,406 per person. The other countries included in the 2014 update of “Mirror Mirror On The Wall: How The Performance of the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally,” are Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand Norway, Sweden and Switzerland (Villacorta, 6/16). U.S. Ranked Last On Scorecard Of Health Care Systems This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.