The Arizona Cardinals arent total playoff neophyt

first_imgThe Arizona Cardinals aren’t total playoff neophytes, but they aren’t exactly the most experienced franchise, either.Since moving to Arizona in 1988, the Cardinals have appeared in 10 postseason games, posting a record a 6-4 mark in those contests. There have been thrillers and there have been duds, pure euphoria and colossal disappointment.But that’s generally how it works in the NFL postseason with a win or go home setup that only serves to enhance the drama. With the Cardinals moving on to face the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Championship Game Sunday, it seemed like a good time to take a look back at Arizona’s playoff history — which includes a couple of dates with their next opponent.Cardinals 20, Cowboys 7 – Irving, Texas; Jan. 2, 1999The Cardinals needed game-winning field goals from Chris Jacke in each of their final three regular-season games to earn their first ever playoff berth since moving to the Grand Canyon State. They made sure those kicks paid off by upending Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and the Cowboys in a wild-card game at Texas Stadium.Jake Plummer threw for two touchdowns — a 12-yard shovel pass to running back Adrian Murrell in the first quarter and a 3-yard toss to fullback Larry Centers in the third quarter — to help the Cards build a 20-0 lead. The Cowboys didn’t get on the board until midway through the fourth quarter, as the Arizona defense forced three turnovers, including a pair of interceptions by eventual Hall-of-Fame cornerback Aeneas Williams.Vikings 41, Cardinals 21 – Minneapolis, Minnesota; Jan. 10, 1999The 15-1 Vikings were too much for the Cardinals to handle, as Randall Cunningham threw three touchdown passes, including a 2-yard pass to then-rookie wideout Randy Moss in the third quarter. Cris Carter had five catches for 82 yards and Robert Smith rushed for 124 yards to help Minnesota roll to the NFC Championship game. Seemed to, anyway.Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was able to avoid the pass rush and hit receiver Jeff Janis for a 60-yard gain on fourth-and-20 from the Green Bay four, and after a Packers penalty was followed by an incomplete pass, the QB — as time expired — heaved a desperation throw to the end zone, which Janis was able to bring down over a waiting Patrick Peterson and Rashad Johnson. The PAT tied the game, and to OT everyone went.The drama did not end there.Referee Clete Blakeman tossed the coin twice because it never turned during the first attempt, and after the Cardinals won the re-toss and the kickoff went for a touchback, they started on their own 20. The very first play from scrimmage proved to be a big one, as Palmer bounced off would-be sackers to find a wide-open Larry Fitzgerald, who raced down the field for 75 yards. Two plays later it was Fitz who punched the ball into the end zone on a well-timed shovel pass, and the Cardinals escaped with the win. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Panthers 27, Cardinals 16 – Charlotte, North Carolina; Jan. 3, 2015What looked like a season that was going to go down as one of the franchise’s best turned into one that was easily one of its most frustrating, as the Cardinals won 11 games but limped into the postseason matchup with 7-8-1 Carolina a shell of the team that accumulated that record.Led by fourth-string quarterback Ryan Lindley, the Cardinals carried an improbable 14-13 lead into halftime after a a 1-yard TD pass to tight end Darren Fells and a 1-yard TD run by Marion Grice, but the second half was all Panthers as the home team pulled away with an effective running game and suffocating defense. The Cardinals finished the game with just 78 total yards, a record low for an NFL playoff game.Cardinals 26, Packers 20 in OT – Glendale, Arizona; Jan. 16, 2016The Cardinals went into their Divisional Round matchup heavy favorites after beating the Packers 38-8 in Week 16. All week they talked about how this game would be different, and how right they were.It was a struggle for much of the way, as the Cardinals took an early 7-0 lead but saw the Packers notch a couple of field goals to bring the score to 7-6 at the half. A Green Bay touchdown early in the third quarter put the visitors on top, and a Carson Palmer interception in the end zone early in the fourth quarter put a dent in Arizona’s comeback hopes, though the home team was able to re-take the lead on its next drive when  Palmer’s pass bounced off the arm of the Packers’ Demarious Randall and into the waiting hands of Michael Floyd in the end zone. The Cardinals turned the Packers over on downs on their next drive, and seemed to put the game on ice when Chandler Catanzaro’s 36-yard field goal attempt split the uprights and gave Arizona a 20-13 lead with 1:55 remaining. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories center_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The Cards got a 220-yard, two-TD night from Warner and eight catches for 166 yards and a score from Fitzgerald. Edgerrin James and Tim Hightower combined for 133 yards on 37 rushes, helping Arizona to enjoy a near 2-to-1 advantage in time of possession. With the win, the Cards advanced to their first ever NFC Championship game.Cardinals 32, Eagles 25 – Glendale, Arizona; Jan. 18, 2009The sixth-seeded Eagles’ upset of the top-seeded Giants in the divisional round allowed the No. 4 seed Cardinals to host the NFC Championship game — and behind a noisy home crowd, they built a 24-6 halftime advantage thanks to three TD tosses from Warner to Fitzgerald.The Eagles reeled off 19 unanswered second-half points, capped by a 62-yard TD pass from Donovan McNabb to DeSean Jackson, to give the Eagles a 25-24 lead early in the fourth quarter. The Cards responded on their next possession, converting on a fourth-and-1 at midfield before Warner connected with Hightower on a screen pass that turned into an 8-yard TD with three minutes to play. A successful two-point conversion gave Arizona a seven-point lead, and the Eagles’ final drive stalled near midfield to secure the Cardinals’ first and only trip to the Super Bowl. Steelers 27, Cardinals 23 – Tampa, Florida; Feb. 1, 2009The Steelers took an early 10-0 lead in Super Bowl XLIII before Warner’s 1-yard TD toss to Ben Patrick trimmed Pittsburgh’s advantage. The Cardinals threatened to take the lead at the end of the first half, but James Harrison’s 100-yard INT return on the half’s final play pushed the Steelers’ lead back to 10 points.Pittsburgh took a 20-7 lead into the fourth quarter, but a safety via a holding penalty and a pair of Fitzgerald TD receptions, including a 64-yarder with under three minutes to play, gave Arizona its first lead of the game, 23-20. But Ben Roethlisberger’s 6-yard pass to Santonio Holmes in the corner of the end zone in the final minute gave Pittsburgh the lead and didn’t allow enough time for the Cardinals to respond.Cardinals 51, Packers 45 (overtime) – Glendale, Arizona; Jan. 10, 2010In what became the highest-scoring playoff game in NFL history, Warner and Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers combined for over 800 passing yards and nine TDs — but it was a defensive play that allowed the Cardinals to advance out of the wild-card round for the second straight season. 0 Comments   Share   Plummer didn’t throw a touchdown pass and was picked off twice, and the Cardinals rushed for just 74 yards on 23 carries. All three Arizona touchdowns came via 1-yard runs by former ASU tailback Mario Bates.Cardinals 30, Falcons 24 – Glendale, Arizona; Jan. 3, 2009A 9-7 record was good enough to earn the Cardinals their first division championship in the lowly NFC West and a home game in the wild-card round. In that game, Kurt Warner threw for 271 yards and two touchdown passes, and Larry Fitzgerald hauled in six catches for 101 yards and a score to help Arizona overcome a 17-14 halftime deficit.The Cardinals picked off Matt Ryan twice and forced three Atlanta turnovers. Antonio Smith’s sack of Ryan in the end zone gave the Cards a 30-17 lead in the fourth quarter. A late TD pass from Ryan to Roddy White closed the gap, but Arizona was able to run out of the clock on the ensuing possession.Cardinals 33, Panthers 13 – Charlotte, North Carolina; Jan. 10, 2009The 12-4 Panthers were a 10-point favorite and scored on the game’s first possession via a 9-yard run by Jonathan Stewart. But it was all Arizona afterwards, as the Cardinals scored 33 unanswered points thanks to five interceptions by Carolina QB Jake Delhomme. The Packers rallied from a 38-24 fourth-quarter deficit to even the score at 45-45 with two minutes to play thanks to an 11-yard pass from Rodgers to Spencer Havner. Arizona had a chance to avoid overtime, but Neil Rackers’ 34-yard field goal at the end of regulation was no good.The Packers won the OT coin toss and elected to receive, but on the third play of the extra session, Rodgers was sacked by Michael Adams, who jarred the ball loose. Karlos Dansby recovered the loose ball and ran for a 17-yard score to help Arizona improve to 3-0 in the postseason at University of Phoenix Stadium.Saints 45, Cardinals 14 – New Orleans, Louisiana; Jan. 16, 2010The Cardinals struck first in the divisional round matchup with a 70-yard TD run by Hightower on the game’s first offensive play. But it was all New Orleans from that point, as Drew Brees threw for 247 yards and three touchdowns, and Reggie Bush had an 83-yard TD run on the third quarter.Warner completed 17-of-26 passes for 205 yards before he was knocked out of the game briefly in the second quarter thanks to a brutal hit from Bobby McCray on an interception return. However, he was unable to get Arizona’s offense going, and the Super Bowl-bound Saints proved to be too much for the Cardinals in what would be Warner’s final NFL game.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *