These Cardinals might be the real thing

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TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Futility has long worn an Arizona Cardinals jersey.

Perhaps, just perhaps, that could end this season.

After consecutive victories over the Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys, these Cardinals might be the real thing.

Competing in the weak NFC West, coach Ken Whisenhunt's team could well be headed to the playoffs for the first time in a decade and only the second time in 24 years.

All right, so it's only six weeks into the season and its record is a mere 4-2.

The last Arizona team to start that well -- in 2002 -- finished the season 5-11.

But there are a number of reasons to believe this edition of the Cardinals is no desert mirage.

For starters, try an ambitious coach.

Whisenhunt directed the Cardinals to 8-8 record in his first season a year ago.

That gave fans every reason to be satisfied when you consider the team's sorry history since owner Bill Bidwill moved them to Arizona from St. Louis 20 years ago.