Anquan Boldin

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Posted by bender 03/22/2009 @ 16:09

Tags : anquan boldin, football players, football, sports

News headlines
Boldin and Cardinals Getting Closer to a Deal - The Queensberry Rules
By Eli Wahlstrom The news with the Anquan Boldin situation is getting better for Arizona Cardinals fans. Boldin's agent Drew Rosenhaus has been focusing less on spreading trade rumors and more on getting a contract done with the Cardinals....
Reid Wanted Boldin! - CBSSports.com
Coach Andy Reid admitted on WIP (radio station in philly) that he was interested in acquiring WR Anquan Boldin from the Arizona Cardinals. According to the Cardinals, no good offer came their way. Reid believed the Cardinals wanted too much,...
Anquan Boldin To The Ravens? Please, Make It Happen Ozzie - The Queensberry Rules
Anquan Boldin in purple and black? A success that is awaiting to happen. In Baltimore, Boldin would be getting the great recognition from Raven nation. At least I would give it to him. With Boldin in the Ravens' playbook, the offense opens up entirely,...
Warner confident Boldin will stay a Card - Rotoworld.com
Kurt Warner told The Dan Patrick Show that he's confident Anquan Boldin will be a Cardinal this season. "I feel pretty good he's going to be with us," Warner said. "(But) is he going to be happy? Are they going to be able to work something out?...
Passan: Some Advice for Josh Cribbs - The Orange and Brown Report
This isn't any different than what the Arizona Cardinals are going through currently with wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who happens to be significantly more talented and valuable than Cribbs. When the Cardinals rewarded fellow wideout Larry Fitzgerald...
Anquan Boldin (Getty) - Tiger Sports Digest
There have been various reports that receiver Anquan Boldin wanted a new contract that would put him in the same expensive neighborhood as teammate Larry Fitzgerald, who averages about $10 million a year. But Boldin's agent, Drew Rosenhaus,...
Per Eskin, Eagles were offered Boldin for Brown and 3rd! - Bleeding Green Nation
Philadelphia offered picks only to Arizona for WR Anquan Boldin, but he said that Arizona was not interested. Rather they inquired on Sheldon Brown, and the Eagles refused the trade. That means that we could have gotten Boldin for Brown,...
Anquan Boldin for Julius Peppers? A Trade for the Ages - Bleacher Report
Anquan Boldin has been demanding a trade for four months now, as has Julius Peppers. Boldin wants to be a number one receiver, which I would still find it hard for him to do so in Carolina, but he would have a better chance being a number one there...
Injured Cards Boldin, Dockett Sit Out Minicamp Drills - AHN
Tempe, AZ (AHN) - Though both are upset with their contract status, wide receiver Anquan Boldin and defensive tackle Darnell Dockett showed up to the Arizona Cardinals minicamp this week. Boldin and Dockett did not participate in drills, blaming it on...

Anquan Boldin

Anquan Kenmile Boldin (pronounced /AN-kwan/) (born October 3, 1980 in Pahokee, Florida) is a professional American football player. He was chosen by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2003 NFL Draft out of Florida State University. He was drafted in the 2nd round because of his relatively slow combine speed. His speed has proved no impediment to success. Boldin was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2003 by the Associated Press. He is known as one of the league's most physical receivers.

Boldin is the cousin of CFL All-Star defensive back Korey Banks. He also has a brother, Demir Boldin, who currently plays for Wake Forest University. He has one son, Anquan Jr.

Boldin requested a trade following the 2007 season when his fellow wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald signed a four-year, $40 million contract extension with Arizona and the Cardinals declined to renegotiate Boldin's contract. He has two years with $12 million remaining on his current contract.

Boldin was a standout football and basketball player at Pahokee High School. His quarterbacking prowess led him to be named Florida's Mr. Football in 1998. During his senior season, Pahokee rolled to a 10-0 regular season record, routinely defeating teams by large margins. Pahokee defeated archrival Glades Central 34-14 in the Muck Bowl, Florida's biggest high school football showdown. Surprisingly, the Blue Devils were upset 29-14 by Coach Corky Rogers's powerhouse Bolles team from Jacksonville in the 2A state championship game.

Boldin is considered to be among the best players the state has ever produced. In 2007 he was named to the Florida High School Association All-Century Team which selected the Top 33 players in the 100 year history of high school football in the state of Florida's history. Many of his numbers were later eclipsed by Adrian McPherson.

Anquan Boldin attended Florida State University. A versatile player, he played both wide receiver and quarterback. In just 23 games at wide receiver, Anquan Boldin caught 118 passes for 1,790 yards (averaging 15.2 yards per reception) and 21 touchdowns. Boldin's remarkable athleticism and work ethic have allowed him to rebound from several serious knee injuries in college and later in the NFL.

Despite the initial concerns of the NFL scouts after Boldin registered a relatively slow 4.71 time in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, Boldin has broken several NFL records. In his rookie year, Boldin had 101 catches and was the only rookie selected to the 2004 Pro Bowl. Boldin also set an NFL record for most receiving yards by a rookie in his first game (217), and holds the NFL record for most receptions in the first 26 games of an NFL career (157) as well as the fastest to record 300 career receptions (47 games).

Boldin teams with Larry Fitzgerald, who was drafted a year after Boldin in 2004, to create one of the best wide receiver tandems in the NFL. In 2005, Boldin was injured and missed part of the season but yet still caught more than 100 passes for over 1,400 yards. On top of that, the Cardinals wide receivers became only the third duo from the same team to each catch over 100 receptions (see Herman Moore and Brett Perriman, also Rod Smith and Ed McCaffrey). Boldin and Fitzgerald also topped the 1,400-yard mark, only the third duo to achieve that in NFL history. They joined Detroit's Herman Moore and Brett Perriman, who accomplished the feat in 1995, and St. Louis' Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce, who did it in 2000. In 2007, Boldin became the quickest player in NFL history to compile 400 receptions and was selected to play in the 2007 Pro Bowl for the NFC, along with teammate Adrian Wilson.

Boldin was named the offensive captain for the Cardinals for the 2007–2008 season. On August 19, 2008, Boldin asked the Cardinals to trade him due to a contract extension dispute, claiming the team has not recognized his hard work.

On September 28, 2008, Boldin was carted off the field after a violent helmet-to-helmet collision in the end zone with 27 seconds remaining in the Cardinals’ 56–35 loss to the New York Jets. While attempting to catch a long pass from Kurt Warner which ended up incomplete, Boldin was hit in the back by free safety Kerry Rhodes and then took a helmet-to-face shot from strong safety Eric Smith, knocking them both unconscious. Smith, also injured on the play, was able to get up after a few moments. After several minutes, Boldin was placed on a stretcher and was carted off the field. "He's alert," Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "He's talking and moving all his extremities. He asked to get up and the doctors won't let him." While the catch wasn't counted as a touchdown, Boldin had a good game as Warner's main go-to guy, finishing the game with 10 catches for 119 yards and one touchdown. On October 4, 2008, coach Ken Whisenhunt announced that Boldin would be out for an indefinite time period with fractured paranasal sinuses. The injury created an opportunity for another WR, Steve Breaston. The Cardinal's offense did not miss a beat during Boldin's absence, and Boldin, Fitzgerald and Breaston became the 5th 1,000 yard receiving trio in NFL history. Boldin missed two games but returned after the bye to record one of his best performances in the season in the Cardinals' loss to the Panthers, catching nine passes with two touchdown receptions and sixty-three yards receiving. He continued his five game touchdown streak with six receptions with one touchdown reception and eighty-five yards receiving in the win against the St. Louis Rams.

On December 7, 2008, in a win against the St. Louis Rams, Boldin became the first player in Arizona Cardinal franchise history to gain 1,000 yards receiving in four consecutive seasons.

During the 2009 NFL offseason, Boldin continues pleading to be traded due to lack of compensation and feelings that the organization no longer cares about him as a player. On March 12, 2009 it was reported by many NFL writers that Boldin was now on the trading block. Cardinals GM Rod Graves has denied this. The Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins and the New York Giants have expressed intrest in Boldin.

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Super Bowl XLIII

Super Bowl XLIII Logo

Super Bowl XLIII was an American football game which featured the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Pittsburgh Steelers and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Arizona Cardinals to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2008 season. The Steelers (15–4) defeated the Cardinals (12–8) by a score of 27-23, earning their sixth Super Bowl win, and thus securing sole possession of the record for most Super Bowl wins. This broke the three-way, five-victory tie the Steelers themselves achieved alongside the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XL. They also joined the New England Patriots (who won Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII, and XXXIX) as the second team of the decade to win multiple Super Bowls.

The game, played on February 1, 2009, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, was a contest between one of the NFL's most successul franchises (Pittsburgh) and a historically unsuccessful franchise (Arizona). The Cardinals entered the game seeking their first NFL title since 1947, the longest championship drought in the league. The club became an unexpected winner during the season and the playoffs with the aid of head coach Ken Whisenhunt, who was the Steelers offensive coordinator during Super Bowl XL, and the re-emergence of quarterback Kurt Warner, who was the Super Bowl MVP in Super Bowl XXXIV with the St. Louis Rams.

Pittsburgh outgained Arizona 158 to 102 yards in the first half of Super Bowl XLIII, jumping to a 17–7 lead at halftime, aided by linebacker James Harrison's Super Bowl record 100-yard interception return for a touchdown. However, trailing 20–7 at the start of the fourth quarter, Arizona scored 16 unanswered points, including wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald's 64-yard touchdown reception, to take the lead with 2:37 remaining in the game. But then the Steelers marched 78 yards to score on wide receiver Santonio Holmes's 6-yard game-winning touchdown catch with 35 seconds left. Holmes, who caught nine passes for 131 yards and a touchdown, including four receptions for 71 yards on that final game-winning drive, was named Super Bowl MVP. He became the sixth wide receiver to win the award, and also was the third Pittsburgh receiver to win the award, following Lynn Swann and Hines Ward.

Despite the global financial crisis and limited amount of ancillary festivities that are normally held before the game, approximately 98.7 million American viewers watched the game on the NBC television network, making it the most-watched Super Bowl in history.

Tampa was selected for the game site on May 25, 2005, beating out three other finalists: Atlanta, Houston, and Miami. Super Bowl XLIII was the second Super Bowl at this venue and the fourth overall in that city.

In February 2008, the Tampa Bay Super Bowl Host Committee unveiled the Super Bowl XLIII logo, featuring an abstract representation of a football stadium, with blue and green colors representing the regional waterways and landscapes of Tampa Bay. Eight yards of playing field are shown, alluding to the game's status as the championship of the 2008 NFL season. In a tradition starting with the Super Bowl XL logo, two stars — one red, representing the AFC, and one blue, representing the NFC — are flanked on either side of the Super Bowl XLIII logo. The tagline for Super Bowl XLIII as well as the 2008 NFL season is "Believe In Now".

The seeds of Super Bowl XLIII can be traced back to the end of the 2006 season. After winning Super Bowl XL in 2005, the Pittsburgh Steelers fell to an 8–8 record the following year. At the end of 2006, Bill Cowher ended his 15-year tenure as their head coach, leaving with a 149–90–1 record and a 12–9 record in the playoffs. Both offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and assistant head coach Russ Grimm were widely considered the front-runners to succeed Cowher in Pittsburgh.

However, without waiting to see if Pittsburgh would hire him, Whisenhunt accepted the head coaching job with the Arizona Cardinals, a team that held the second longest championship drought in U.S. sports (1947, with only the Chicago Cubs last winning their championship in 1908) and had never advanced to the Super Bowl in their franchise history. The Steelers then passed over Grimm and instead hired Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin. Once Tomlin was hired by the Steelers, Grimm joined Whisenhunt in Arizona in the same position as assistant head coach as he had in Pittsburgh, and the two of them began to remodel the perennial losing club into a winner like the Steelers.

Of historical note, the game matched up two franchises previously merged into a single team, "Card-Pitt", for the 1944 season in response to the depleted rosters during World War II. Pittsburgh was going for its sixth Super Bowl win, which would place it in sole possession of the record for most Super Bowl wins, while the Cardinals were seeking their first league title since 1947 and only the second undisputed league championship in their history. (The then-Chicago Cardinals were named the NFL champions in 1925 for finishing with the best record, but also because the Pottsville Maroons had been fined and suspended for playing a game against the Notre Dame football team in another NFL franchise's territory.) It was the third Super Bowl in history to feature two pre-expansion era (pre-1960) teams, joining Super Bowl XIV (Steelers vs. Los Angeles Rams, the latter of which coincidentally also went 9-7 in the regular season) and Super Bowl XLI (Indianapolis Colts vs. Chicago Bears). The Cardinals and Steelers played each other twice per season from 1960 through 1969, first in the Eastern Division (1960-66), then in the Century Division of the Eastern Conference (1967-69).

It was also the first time that two quarterbacks who previously started for a Super Bowl winning team (Kurt Warner and Ben Roethlisberger) opposed one another since Jim Plunkett's Los Angeles Raiders defeated Joe Theisman's Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII. Warner started for the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowls XXXIV and Super Bowl XXXVI, winning the first and losing the second one, while Roethlisberger was the winning quarterback in Super Bowl XL.

Under Tomlin's first season as head coach, the Steelers improved to a 10–6 record in 2007. Pittsburgh then finished the 2008 season with the second best record in the AFC at 12–4, making the playoffs for the 6th time in the last eight seasons, and went on to earn their seventh Super Bowl trip in franchise history, breaking a three-way tie with the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos for second most Super Bowl appearances. The Steelers are now one Super Bowl behind the Dallas Cowboys, who currently hold the record for most appearances with eight.

The Steelers excelled on defense, leading the NFL in fewest points (13.9) and yards (237.2) per game allowed, while also ranking second in sacks with 51. Up front, their line was anchored by defensive end Aaron Smith, who recorded 60 tackles and six sacks. Behind him, two of the Steelers starting linebackers ranked among the top ten sack leaders in the NFL, LaMarr Woodley (11.5 sacks) and pro bowler/NFL Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison (16 sacks). Pro Bowl linebacker James Farrior was also a big contributor, recording 4 sacks and leading the team with 133 tackles. The Steelers secondary was led by pro bowl safety Troy Polamalu, who ranked second in the NFL with a career high seven interceptions.

For the fifth year in a row, the Steelers offense was led by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who finished the season with 3,301 passing yards and 17 touchdowns, with 15 interceptions. His top target was the Steelers all-time receiving leader Hines Ward, who recorded his fifth 1,000-yard season with 81 receptions for 1,043 yards and seven touchdowns. Other reliable receiving options included Santonio Holmes (55 receptions for 821 yards), Nate Washington (40 receptions for 631 yards), and tight end Heath Miller (48 receptions for 514 yards). The Steelers ground game was led by two-time pro bowl running back Willie Parker, who had rushed for over 1,200 yards in each of his last three seasons. Injuries in 2008 limited him to 791 yards in 11 games, but running back Mewelde Moore proved to be a solid replacement, rushing for 588 yards and catching 40 passes for 320.

For their efforts, Tomlin won the 2008 Motorola Coach Of The Year Award and Harrison was awarded with the 2008 GMC Sierra Defensive Player Of The Year.

Under Whisenhunt's first season as head coach, the Cardinals finished with an 8–8 record in 2007. Arizona then finished the 2008 season with a 9–7 record and went on to earn their first trip to the Super Bowl in franchise history, becoming only the second NFL team to do so with nine wins.

One reason for Arizona's success was the re-emergence of 37-year old quarterback Kurt Warner. Warner, after he was not selected in the NFL draft, went to work in a grocery story for a short period of time before getting his first professional break in the Arena Football League. Warner became a member of the Iowa Barnstormers and led them to two Arena Bowl appearances. After four AFL seasons, he signed on as a backup quarterback with the St. Louis Rams, being allocated for the 1998 season in NFL Europe with the Amsterdam Admirals. In 1999, he earned a chance to play in the NFL following a preseason injury to starter Trent Green. Warner ended up taking full advantage of that chance, not only securing a spot as the Rams permanent starter, but also leading them to two Super Bowls and one Super Bowl win (in which Warner was named MVP), while also winning two NFL MVP awards.

However, in 2002, Warner's production was drastically reduced by injuries and he soon lost his starting job to Marc Bulger. He eventually left the team to join the New York Giants, but once again he lost his starting job (beaten out by their #1 draft pick of 2004, future Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning) and signed on with the Cardinals in 2005. For the third time, Warner lost his starting job due to mediocre performances and injuries. After the season, Arizona selected Heisman winner Matt Leinart with their first round draft pick. This, combined with another mediocre performance in the 2006 season, appeared to severely limit Warner's chances of ever being a permanent starter on the team. However, early in the 2007 season, Warner was thrust into the starting lineup to replace an injured Leinart, and by the end of the team's season, he had emerged as one of the top quarterbacks in the league, throwing 27 touchdown passes with a passer rating of 89.8.

With his starting job on the team more secure, Warner posted one of his best seasons in 2008, throwing for 4,583 yards and 30 touchdowns, with only 14 interceptions, giving him an NFC best 96.9 rating. His top targets were receivers Larry Fitzgerald (96 receptions, 1,431 yards, 12 touchdowns), Anquan Boldin (89 receptions, 1,038 yards, 11 touchdowns), and Steve Breaston (77 receptions, 1,006 yards, three touchdowns, 900 special teams return yards), who made the Cardinals the fifth team ever to feature three players with over 1,000 receiving yards. The Cardinals ground game was led by veteran running back Edgerrin James and rookie Tim Hightower. James led the team with 514 yards, while Hightower rushed for 399 and scored 10 touchdowns. He was also a reliable target out of the backfield, catching 34 passes for another 237 yards. Overall, Arizona's offense ranked fourth in yards per game (365.8) and third in scoring (422 points).

However, their defense had played inconsistently during the regular season, ranking just 28th in points allowed. Up front, their line was anchored by defensive lineman Bertrand Berry, who recorded five sacks and forced two fumbles. Linebacker Karlos Dansby was also a solid contributor, recording four sacks, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles, while also leading the team with 119 tackles. The Cardinals secondary was led by rookie cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who led the team with four interceptions, and Pro Bowl safety Adrian Wilson (fourth on the team in tackles, 75).

Arizona advanced to the Super Bowl by beating the fifth-seeded Atlanta Falcons 30–24, the second-seeded Carolina Panthers, 33–13, and the sixth-seeded Philadelphia Eagles, 32–25. Warner played exceptionally well in those games, throwing for a total of 661 yards and eight touchdowns, with only two interceptions, giving him a rating of 112.1. The Cardinals also got a big performance out of Larry Fitzgerald, who caught 23 passes for a postseason record 419 yards and five touchdowns. Meanwhile, Arizona's 28th-ranked defense showed major improvement in the postseason, forcing twelve turnovers in their three games. This included five interceptions and one fumble from Carolina's pro bowl quarterback Jake Delhomme in the divisional round.

Pittsburgh began their Super Bowl run with a 35–24 win over the fourth-seeded San Diego Chargers, gaining 342 yards, avoiding any turnovers, holding the ball for 36:30 (including for 14:43 in the third quarter alone, an NFL record for a single quarter), and scoring a touchdown in every quarter. Also, Parker appeared to be fully recovered from his regular season injuries, as evidenced by his career postseason high 147-yard, two–touchdown performance against the Chargers. Pittsburgh then went on to beat their AFC North arch rivals, the sixth-seeded Baltimore Ravens, 23–14, holding them to 184 yards and forcing five turnovers.

The AFC Champion Steelers stayed at the InterContinental Tampa and held their pre-game practices at the training facility of the University of South Florida Bulls. The NFC Champion Cardinals were based at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay and held their practices at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' training facility. Both teams arrived in the Tampa area on Monday, January 26.

Also on January 26, the NFL announced that the Super Bowl game would be one of the safest places in the United States during game time. Personnel from over 20 different federal agencies were on site to assist in protecting players and fans.

Pittsburgh entered the game as seven-point favorites over Arizona. Major factors for this included the view that the Steelers' defense was better compared to the that of the Cardinals and the feeling that the AFC was an overall better conference than the NFC.

The Cardinals were the designated "home team," as was the case for all NFC champions in odd numbered Super Bowls. Arizona wore their red jerseys, which it has done at home since moving into University of Phoenix Stadium in 2006 after predominantly wearing their white jerseys at home for their first 18 years in Arizona to combat the intense heat of September and October. As a result, the Steelers wore white jerseys for their second consecutive Super Bowl.

Pittsburgh improved to 3–0 lifetime wearing white jerseys in the Super Bowl after the victory in Super Bowl XLIII. The other two times the team wore white was as the "visiting team" against the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IX (during a time when the designated "home" team was required to wear their team colored jerseys) and against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL despite being the "home team" that season but having road success in the playoffs. In addition, teams wearing white jerseys in the Super Bowl extended their winning streak to five games, dating back to Super Bowl XXXIX, currently the longest such streak between white and team colored jerseys in Super Bowl history. Pittsburgh also improved to 3-0 lifetime against NFC West Division teams in the Super Bowl, having previously beaten the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl XIV and the Seahawks in XL.

Another pre-game storyline involved backup Steelers tight end/fullback Sean McHugh. McHugh, who spent the past three seasons with the Detroit Lions, made that team's 53-man roster at the end of the preseason, only to later be released 24 hours later alongside linebacker Anthony Cannon in order for the Lions to make room for linebacker Ryan Nece and running back Marcus Thomas. The Steelers promptly signed McHugh after the team traded center Sean Mahan back to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for a draft pick before the start of the season. The subsequent media attention surrounding McHugh had to do with him being deemed not good enough for the Lions (a team that would finish 0-16, the NFL's first imperfect season since the expansion 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers), but good enough for a Super Bowl team such as the Steelers and being a valuable blocker for Ben Roethlisberger and Willie Parker. McHugh himself had mixed feelings about the situation, feeling bad for his former Lions teammates, but also feeling it's a little payback for the Lions for releasing him in the first place. McHugh would play in the Super Bowl as a blocker, much like his regular season role.

With all the cutbacks resulting from the severe economic downturn in the United States, the game was dubbed "The Recession Bowl." Restaurants were slow in business and many parties, including parties hosted by Playboy and Sports Illustrated were canceled. There were also 200 fewer sports journalists covering the game than at Super Bowl XLII the previous year. According to the online broker StubHub, tickets with a face value of $500 changed hands the week of the Super Bowl for an average $2,500 – a 40% drop from Super Bowl XLII in 2008 and 16% lower than Super Bowl XL in 2006. Ford, Chrysler and General Motors, the Big Three automobile makers, decided not to purchase television advertisements following the three companies' business struggles in 2008 and early 2009.

The game was televised live in the United States on NBC, the network's first Super Bowl broadcast since Super Bowl XXXII at the end of the 1997 season, and was available in 1080i high definition. Play-by-play announcer Al Michaels and color commentator John Madden were in the booth, with Andrea Kremer and Alex Flanagan serving as sideline reporters. The pre-game show – a record five hours long – was hosted by the Football Night in America team headed by Bob Costas, and preceded by a two-hour special edition of Today hosted by the regular weekday team live from Tampa and the NFL Films – produced Road to the Super Bowl. Matt Millen was part of the coverage as a studio analyst. The Today contribution included portions of a taped interview with President Obama and pictures of troops viewing the proceedings in Iraq.

John Madden was the first person to have announced a Super Bowl for each of the four major U.S. television networks, having called five Super Bowls for CBS, three for FOX, and two for ABC prior to joining NBC in 2006. Meanwhile, Al Michaels was the third man to do play-by-play for a Super Bowl on NBC television (following in the footsteps of Curt Gowdy and Dick Enberg). Also, Michaels became the second person (after Pat Summerall on CBS and FOX) to be the lead Super Bowl play-by-play announcer for two different major U.S. networks (ABC and NBC).

Super Bowl XLIII was the final Super Bowl to air in the analog television format in the United States before the nationwide digital television transition. The transition, originally scheduled for February 17 was pushed back to June 12.

With an average U.S. audience of 98.7 million viewers, this was the most-watched Super Bowl in history, and the second-most-watched U.S. television program of any kind (trailing only the final episode of M*A*S*H in 1983). However, the national Nielsen rating of 42.1 was lower than the 43.3 rating for the previous year's game. The telecast drew a 53.6 rating in Pittsburgh and a 47.5 rating in Phoenix, first and ninth respectively among local markets.

In Tucson, Arizona and surrounding areas, the analog but not digital feed of the Comcast cable service was interrupted by an unknown party, when 30 seconds from Playboy Enterprises-owned adult cable television channel Shorteez was broadcast to homes just after Larry Fitzgerald scored his fourth quarter touchdown to take the Cardinals to a 23-20 lead. Minutes before this occurred, 10 seconds of an end credit segment from ClubJenna, another Playboy-owned channel, was shown. Comcast offered a $10 credit for customers who claimed to have seen the incident, and the Federal Communications Commission announced that it would investigate the cause of the incident.

The telecast was also carried to U.S. service personnel stationed around the globe via the American Forces Network.

Super Bowl XLIII also marked the first time that a 30-second commercial time slot cost up to US $3 million for the airtime alone, excluding production and talent costs. Many traditional advertisers, such as Anheuser-Busch and PepsiCo, bought multiple ads at discounted rates. Each of the "Big Three" U.S. automakers (General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler) passed on advertising during the game. A short trailer for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen premiered during the Super Bowl, a debut which director Michael Bay first revealed would occur in January. A preview of the upcoming Star Trek film also premiered during the game. However, with the weak economy, NBC was thought to have turned to companies already buying ad time for an additional purchase or two as set by the Los Angeles-based Forza Migliozzi agency, which would have eight advertisers simultaneously in one 30-second ad. SoBe and DreamWorks Animation aired a 3-D trailer for the upcoming film Monsters vs. Aliens, along with a 3-D ad for Sobe Life Water that featured Ray Lewis and Todd Light dancing Swan Lake (renamed Lizard Lake for this ad). About 150 million “ColorCode 3-D” glasses were given away at grocery stores across the country for the ad. Hyundai also advertised its new Genesis Coupe in two 30-second commercials. All advertising slots were sold out one day before the game, resulting in sales of $206 million.

YouTube's top five in "Ad Blitz 2009" also saw the two Doritos ads finish first and fifth. The middle three featured E*Trade's Singing Baby ad, CareerBuilder.com's "The Official 2009 Super Bowl Commercial" and Pepsi Max's "I'm Good" finish second through fourth respectively.

An international feed featured Bob Papa and Sterling Sharpe announcing, and was seen in 230 countries (including Antarctica) over 61 networks and 34 languages. ESPN Latin America also broadcasted across Latin America.

On radio, Westwood One had the national broadcast rights to the game in the United States and Canada. It was only made available to local affiliates as part of a 57-game package of regular season and post-season games. Stations were not allowed to stream the broadcast on their web sites.

FieldPass, the subscription Internet radio service provided by the league at NFL.com, carried most of these feeds, with select international feeds for free. Due to contractual restrictions, only WDVE, WBGG, KTAR-AM and FM, Sirius XM, and FieldPass were permitted to carry the teams' local broadcasts, with the teams' network affiliates instead carrying the Westwood One feed.

Journey performed during the pre-game show, and Jennifer Hudson sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" in her first public appearance since the murder of her nephew, brother and mother. Hudson became the second consecutive alumna from the American Idol television series to perform the national anthem at a Super Bowl (Jordin Sparks sang the anthem at Super Bowl XLII). The national anthem was translated into American Sign Language by Kristen Santos. Following the anthem, the U. S. Air Force Thunderbirds performed a fly-over. John Legend performed a short concert several hours before the game, while Faith Hill performed "America the Beautiful" prior to Hudson's performance of the national anthem. Also, the crew of US Airways Flight 1549 were recognized on field for their actions.

The NFL saluted four decades of champions during the coin toss ceremony and the Vince Lombardi Trophy presentation. The coin toss featured Roger Craig (Super Bowl XXIII, 1989), John Elway (Super Bowl XXXIII, 1999) and Lynn Swann (Super Bowl XIII, 1979). Roger Craig followed last year's participants and fellow San Francisco 49ers Craig Walsh (son of Bill Walsh), Ronnie Lott, Jerry Rice and Steve Young. General David Petraeus performed the actual coin toss. The Steelers called tails, but it landed on heads, so the Cardinals won the toss. Arizona deferred their choice to the second half, and the Steelers chose to receive, making it the first time in Super Bowl history that the coin toss winner kicked off to start the game. (The NFL had just changed the rule before the start of the season allowing the team that wins the coin toss to defer the choice to the second half, similar to that in college football and Canadian football.) By winning the toss, the Arizona Cardinals were the twelfth consecutive coin toss winner from the NFC, dating back to Super Bowl XXXII. Joe Namath (Super Bowl III, 1969) participated in the Vince Lombardi Trophy presentation and he previously participated in the coin toss in Super Bowl XXVIII. Coincidentally, Namath—a native of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh—ultimately handed the trophy to his hometown team.

Each of the numbers had at least one verse removed, in order to fit the overall performance in the intended 12-minute time limit. Springsteen had turned down numerous invitations to play at the Super Bowl before this one, unsure of its legitimacy, but finally accepted after realizing the prestige value.

The Steelers 2008 season/Super Bowl XLIII championship home video went on sale on DVD on February 24, 2009. One week later on March 3, it was released on Blu-ray Disc, making it the first NFL Films home video release to be on Blu-ray Disc. The Blu-ray copy is "officially" sold exclusively through Amazon.com, though it is also available through the Sports Illustrated Super Bowl offer, as well as eBay and a few retail stores that ordered copies from Amazon.com. The New York Giants 2007 season/Super Bowl video was only released on DVD the previous year despite the fact that Toshiba dropped support of HD DVD (the primary rival of Blu-ray) just two weeks after Super Bowl XLII.

Pittsburgh took the opening kickoff and moved down the field on a 71-yard scoring drive, with Ben Roethlisberger completing a 38-yard pass to Hines Ward and a 21-yard strike to Heath Miller, putting the ball at the Arizona 1-yard line. On third down, Roethlisberger appeared to score on a quarterback scramble, but it was overruled by a replay challenge, which determined that he was down before the ball crossed the goal line. Rather than make another attempt at a touchdown, Pittsburgh settled for a Jeff Reed 18-yard field goal to take the 3–0 lead. It was the second straight year a team took the opening kickoff down for a score as the Giants did the same in Super Bowl XLII (the last time before that was the Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII). The Steelers quickly forced an Arizona punt and then drove back down the field for what would turn into more points. On the first play of their drive, Roethlisberger completed a 25-yard pass to Santonio Holmes. Following three more completions to Miller for 26 yards and another one to Holmes for 7, reserve running back Gary Russell went into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown run to make the score 10–0 on the second play of the second quarter. They became the first team to score on its first two drives since the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXII. On defense, Pittsburgh held Arizona to just one drive and one first down in the first quarter, while gaining 135 yards.

The Cardinals got going for the first time midway through the second quarter as a 45-yard completion from Kurt Warner to Anquan Boldin moved the ball to the Steelers' 1-yard line. On the next play, Warner nearly fell over after taking the snap, but he regained his balance and threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Ben Patrick. After an exchange of punts, Roethlisberger threw a pass that was tipped at the line of scrimmage and intercepted by linebacker Karlos Dansby at the Steelers 34-yard line with 2:46 left in the half. Seven plays later, the Cardinals drove to a first down on the Pittsburgh 1-yard line. But with 18 seconds left, Warner's pass was intercepted in the end zone by linebacker James Harrison, who then took off down the sideline for the longest play in Super Bowl history, a 100-yard return for a touchdown, increasing the Steelers' lead to 17–7 at halftime. A booth review was called to verify that Harrison had broken the plane, as he was tackled at the goal line, but the touchdown ruling was upheld.

After forcing a punt, the Steelers started off the third quarter with another long scoring drive. Aided by three personal foul penalties against Arizona, they moved the ball 79 yards in 14 plays and took 8:39 off the clock. However, they were unable to get into the end zone, despite two first downs inside the Cardinals 10 (a penalty against Arizona on a Steelers field goal attempt gave them another chance), and they had to settle for another Reed field goal to give them a 13-point lead, 20–7. After a few more punts, Warner led the Cardinals down the field on an eight-play, 87-yard scoring drive that took 3:57 off the clock, utilizing a no huddle offense. With 7:33 left in the game, Warner threw a high floating pass to Larry Fitzgerald, who made a leaping catch through tight coverage by Ike Taylor for a touchdown, making the score 20–14.

Later on, Ben Graham's 34-yard punt pinned the Steelers back at their own 1-yard line. Two plays later on third down and 10, Roethlisberger threw a 20-yard pass to Holmes, but center Justin Hartwig was called for holding in the end zone, which not only nullified the catch, but gave the Cardinals a safety, raising the score to 20–16. Taking over on their own 36 after the free kick, Arizona took two plays to score, as Warner threw a pass to Fitzgerald on a slant pattern. Fitzgerald caught the ball without breaking stride and took off down the middle of the field past the Steelers secondary for a 64-yard touchdown reception, giving Arizona their first lead of the game, 23–20.

Pittsburgh got the ball back on their own 22-yard line with 2:37 left in the game and two timeouts remaining. On their first play, a holding penalty pushed them back 10 yards. Roethlisberger then completed two passes to Holmes for 27 yards. After an 11-yard reception by Nate Washington and a 4-yard run by Roethlisberger, he completed a 40-yard pass to Holmes at the Cardinals 6-yard line. Two plays later, Holmes caught a pass in the corner of the end zone and managed to land his toes down right before falling out of bounds for a touchdown. After a booth review upheld the play, Reed's ensuing extra point made the score 27–23 with 35 seconds remaining. Following the ensuing kickoff, Warner completed a 20-yard pass to Fitzgerald and a 13-yarder to J. J. Arrington, moving the ball to the Steelers 44. With 18 seconds left, linebacker LaMarr Woodley forced a fumble while sacking Warner, which defensive end Brett Keisel recovered, sealing Pittsburgh's NFL record sixth Super Bowl title.

In Super Bowl XLIII, Arizona and Pittsburgh combined for the fewest rushing attempts (38) and the fewest rushing yards (91) in Super Bowl history. The Cardinals outgained the Steelers in both passing yards (374 to 234) and total yards (407 to 292), but committed 11 penalties for 106 yards. Arizona's safety in the fourth quarter was only the sixth one scored in Super Bowl history, the first since Super Bowl XXV.

Warner completed 31 of 43 passes for 377 yards and three touchdowns, with one interception. His 377 yards was the second most in Super Bowl history behind his own record of 414 yards in Super Bowl XXXIV (Warner also holds the third place record with 365 yards in Super Bowl XXXVI). With the three highest totals in Super Bowl history, he passed Joe Montana for most career yards in Super Bowl history with 1,156 (Montana threw for 1,142 yards in four games). He became the fifth quarterback in Super Bowl history to throw three touchdown passes in defeat (the others being Roger Staubach, Brett Favre, Jake Delhomme, and Donovan McNabb). He also became the first quarterback in Super Bowl history to have a pass intercepted and returned for a touchdown in two different Super Bowls and is also the second quarterback to throw a fourth-quarter touchdown in three different Super Bowls (Terry Bradshaw threw a fourth-quarter touchdown in all four of his Super Bowls).

Warner's top target was Fitzgerald, who caught seven passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns. Fitzgerald set a single postseason record with seven touchdown receptions, passing Jerry Rice, who had six in the 1988 postseason. Roethlisberger completed 21 of 30 passes for 256 yards and a touchdown, with one interception. Woodley had two sacks and a forced fumble, thus he continued setting NFL play-off records for consecutive multiple sack games by a player with 4. Arizona defensive tackle Darnell Dockett had all of Arizona's three sacks. Harrison's 100-yard interception return was the longest play of any kind in a Super Bowl.

In Pittsburgh, mostly in the Oakland neighborhood, riots broke out on the streets after the Steelers' victory. Rioters - mostly college students - caused about $150,000 in estimated damages. More than 60 people were arrested during and, after the rioting, at least two students were suspended.Two of the Steelers' former homes, Forbes Field and Pitt Stadium, were in the Oakland neighborhood before moving to Three Rivers Stadium in 1970.

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Larry Fitzgerald

Larry Fitzgerald on the cover of NCAA Football 2005

Larry Darnell Fitzgerald, Jr. (born August 31, 1983, in Minneapolis, Minnesota), is an American football wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League. He was drafted third overall in the 2004 NFL Draft by the Cardinals. He played college football at the University of Pittsburgh.

For three years, starting at the age of 15, Fitzgerald was a ball boy for the Minnesota Vikings. He spent his freshman year at Minnehaha Academy, where he started on the Redhawks varsity football team as a defensive back and played on the losing end of one of the most lopsided games in Minnesota state high school football history when DeLaSalle High School beat the Redhawks 79-0. For his sophomore year, Fitzgerald transferred to the Academy of Holy Angels, where he played alongside future University of Wisconsin quarterback John Stocco, and then to the Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, Pennsylvania, in the middle of 2001 to help him better prepare for college. He graduated a year and a half later in May 2002. He originally committed to Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., before enrolling at the University of Pittsburgh.

Fitzgerald attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he was widely considered one of the best wide receivers in college football. After his sophomore season, Fitzgerald was recognized as the best player in the NCAA with the 2003 Walter Camp Award and the Touchdown Club of Columbus's Chic Harley Award, and as the best wide receiver in college football with the 2003 Biletnikoff Award and the Touchdown Club's Paul Warfield Award. He was also a unanimous 2003 All-America selection and a runner-up for the prestigious Heisman Trophy, given to the most outstanding player in college football; Oklahoma's Jason White won that award by a relatively slim margin.

In just 26 games with the Panthers, Fitzgerald hauled in 161 passes for 2,677 yards and set a new Pitt record with 34 receiving touchdowns. He was the first player in school history with back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons, and his 14 games with at least 100 yards receiving broke Antonio Bryant's previous all-time Panthers record of 13.

Fitzgerald also holds an NCAA record with at least one touchdown catch in 18 straight games.

He was drafted into the NFL with two seasons of NCAA eligibility remaining.

Fitzgerald left the University of Pittsburgh after a tremendous year in which he caught 92 passes for 1,672 yards and 22 TDs. He was drafted third overall in the 2004 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals, whose then coach, Dennis Green, knew Fitzgerald from his time as a Vikings ball boy.

In 2004, Fitzgerald had 58 receptions for 780 yards and 8 touchdowns. In 2005 he led the NFL with 103 receptions for 1,409 yards and 10 touchdowns and was named to his first Pro Bowl. Fitzgerald teams with Anquan Boldin to create one of the most dangerous wide receiver tandems in the NFL. In 2005, they became only the third duo from the same team to each catch over 100 passes and also the third pair of teammates to top the 1,400-yard mark.

In 2006, Fitzgerald was injured and missed part of the season but still produced 69 receptions for 946 yards and 6 touchdowns. As part of his 2007 Pro Bowl season, he caught 100 receptions for 1,409 yards and 10 touchdowns. Following the 2007 season Fitzgerald signed a four-year, $40 million contract extension with Arizona. While still under contract at the time, performance bonuses forced the team's hand into a massive extension. Fitzgerald's numbers earned him the nickname "Sticky Fingers" and "The Best Hands in the NFL" in local media.

During the NFC Championship for the 2008 NFL season, Fitzgerald tied an NFL record with three touchdown receptions in a playoff game. His three touchdown catches occurred in the first half; he became the first player in NFL history to accomplish that feat in a conference championship game. Fitzgerald also set a single postseason record with 546 receiving yards, 30 receptions, and 7 touchdown receptions. He and the Cardinals represented the NFC in Super Bowl XLIII. During Super Bowl XLIII, Fitzgerald caught two touchdown passes in the Cardinals 27-23 loss to the Steelers. Fitzgerald followed up this performance by catching two more touchdown passes in the 2009 Pro Bowl, earning him MVP honors. After the Pro Bowl was over it was revealed that Fitzgerald had been playing at least the whole postseason with a broken left thumb as well as torn cartilage in the same hand. It is speculated that Fitzgerald has had this injury since November 5, 2008, when he showed up on the injury report with a injured thumb.

Fitzgerald's father, Larry Fitzgerald Sr., is a sportswriter for the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. When he covered Super Bowl XLIII, he was believed to be the first reporter to cover his own son in a Super Bowl.

Fitzgerald's mother, Carol, died of a brain hemorrhage while being treated for breast cancer in 2003. Fitzgerald also has a younger brother, Marcus.

In December 2008, Angela Nazario, a former Oakland Raiders cheerleader and the mother of Fitzgerald's child, filed for and won an order of protection against Fitzgerald, alleging that he had shoved her during a domestic disturbance. No charges were filed. Fitzgerald's father claimed that Nazario made the accusations in an attempt "to get a lot of money," and his lawyers have said that they cannot discuss the case because a judge had sealed it.

Fitzgerald was featured on the cover of the EA Sports video game NCAA Football 2005.

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2003 Arizona Cardinals season

The 2003 Arizona Cardinals season was the 84th season the team was in the National Football League. The team was unable to improve upon their previous output of 5-11, instead winning only four games. For the fifth consecutive season, the team failed to reach the playoffs. In his NFL debut, Anquan Boldin had 217 receiving yards.

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2008 Arizona Cardinals season

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The 2008 Arizona Cardinals season was the 89th season for the team in the National Football League and their 21st season in Arizona. The season marked the Cardinals' first-ever Super Bowl appearance, coming as a result of their defeat of the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship.

The Cardinals began their season strong, compiling a 7-3 record by Week 11. But they struggled afterwards, and ended the regular season with a 9-7 record. This was still enough to win the NFC West, and the Cardinals, for the first time since 1947, hosted a playoff game. In that wild card game, the Cardinals defeated the Atlanta Falcons. The next week, for the Divisional round of the playoffs, the Cardinals traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina, where they upset the heavily-favored Carolina Panthers. Then, because the Philadelphia Eagles also achieved an upset the same week (against the top-seeded New York Giants), the number-four seed Cardinals hosted the NFC Championship game, where they defeated the Eagles and qualified for the Super Bowl. In Super Bowl XLIII, the Cardinals' winning streak ended. Though they led the Pittsburgh Steelers with less than a minute left to play in the game, in the end they were defeated, 27-23.

The 2008 Cardinals were just the second 9–7 team to reach the Super Bowl, joining the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl XIV, who also lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers; however, the Rams had to win only two playoff games, rather than three, to reach the Super Bowl.

The Cardinals began their 2008 campaign on the road against their NFC West rival, the San Francisco 49ers. In the first quarter, Arizona took flight as kicker Neil Rackers got a 25-yard field goal. The 49ers responded with RB Frank Gore's 41-yard TD run. In the second quarter, the Cardinals responded with QB Kurt Warner completing a 1-yard TD pass to WR Larry Fitzgerald, yet San Francisco tied the game with kicker Joe Nedney getting a 39-yard field goal. In the third quarter, the Cardinals began to soar as Rackers got a 31-yard field goal, along with rookie RB Tim Hightower getting a 2-yard TD run. In the fourth quarter, the 49ers tried to respond with Nedney getting a 30-yard field goal. Afterwards, Rackers' 30-yard field goal sealed the victory for Arizona.

With the win, the Cardinals began their season at 1-0.

Coming off their divisional road win over the 49ers, the Cardinals played their Week 2 home opener against the Miami Dolphins. In the first quarter, the Cardinals scored first as QB Kurt Warner threw 2 TD passes (a 79-yarder and a 3-yarder) to WR Anquan Boldin. In the second quarter, Arizona increased their lead with a 45 yard field goal by Neil Rackers. In the third quarter, the Cardinals increased its lead to 24-0 with rookie RB Tim Hightower getting a 1-yard TD run. In the process, he became the first Cardinals rookie running back to ever score in each of his first two games. The Dolphins finally got on the board when kicker Dan Carpenter nailed a 32-yard field goal. The Cardinals replied with Warner and Boldin hooking up with each other for a third time on an 8-yard TD pass. In the fourth quarter, Miami tried to rally as RB Ronnie Brown got a 1-yard TD run, but Arizona held on for a dominating win.

With the win, the Cardinals improved to its first 2-0 start since 1991. This game was also one of three times that Kurt Warner finished a game with a perfect passer rating.

Coming off their home win over the Dolphins, the Cardinals flew to FedEx Field for a Week 3 duel with the Washington Redskins. In the first quarter, Arizona trailed early as Redskins RB Clinton Portis got a 3-yard TD run. In the second quarter, the Cardinals continued to trail as kicker Shaun Suisham got a 48-yard field goal. The Cardinals would end the half with QB Kurt Warner completing a 4-yard TD pass to WR Anquan Boldin. In the third quarter, the Cardinals tied the game with kicker Neil Rackers nailing a 26-yard field goal, yet Washington responded with QB Jason Campbell completing a 2-yard TD pass to TE Todd Yoder. Afterwards, Arizona answered with Warner completing a 62-yard TD pass to WR Larry Fitzgerald. However, in the fourth quarter, the Redskins pulled away with Campbell's 17-yard TD pass to WR Santana Moss.

With the loss, the Cardinals fell to 2-1.

Hoping to rebound from their road loss to the Redskins, the Cardinals flew to The Meadowlands for a Week 4 interconference duel with the New York Jets. After a scoreless first quarter, Arizona started to trail big in the second quarter. The Jets took flight with QB Brett Favre completing a 12-yard TD pass to WR Laveranues Coles, CB Darrelle Revis returning an interception 32 yards for a touchdown, Favre completing a 34-yard TD pass to Coles, kicker Jay Feely getting 20-yard field goal, Favre completing a 2-yard TD pass to Coles, and Feely kicking a 30-yard field goal.

In the third quarter, the Cardinals responded with RB Edgerrin James getting a 4-yard and a 2-yard TD run, along with rookie RB Tim Hightower getting a 1-yard TD run. In the third quarter, New York answered with Favre's 17-yard TD pass to WR Jerricho Cotchery. The Cardinals would reply with QB Kurt Warner completing an 8-yard TD pass to WR Anquan Boldin, yet the Jets continued their victory march with Favre's 40-yard TD pass to Cotchery. Arizona tried to rally as Warner completed a 14-yard TD pass to WR Jerheme Urban, but New York sealed the win with Favre's 24-yard TD pass to TE Dustin Keller.

With the loss, the Cardinals fell to 2-2.

Hoping to rebound from their miserable road loss to the Jets, the Cardinals went home for a Week 5 interconference duel with the Buffalo Bills. In the first quarter, the Cardinals took flight as QB Kurt Warner completed a 2-yard TD pass to WR Larry Fitzgerald. In the second quarter, Arizona increased its lead with rookie RB Tim Hightower getting a 17-yard TD run. The Bills responded with QB J. P. Losman completing an 87-yard TD pass to WR Lee Evans, yet the Cardinals answered right back with RB Edgerrin James getting a 1-yard TD run. Buffalo would answer with Losman getting a 2-yard TD run, yet the Cardinals continued its momentum with kicker Neil Rackers getting a 47-yard field goal.

In the third quarter, the Bills tried to comeback as kicker Rian Lindell got a 48-yard field goal, but Arizona kept its intensity up as Warner completed a 2-yard TD pass to Fitzgerald. In the fourth quarter, the Cardinals pulled away as Rackers nailed a 38-yard field goal, along with Hightower getting a 2-yard TD run.

With the win, the Cardinals improved to 3-2.

Coming off their rout over the Bills, the Cardinals stayed at home for a crucial Week 6 showdown with the Dallas Cowboys. In the first quarter, the Cardinals immediately took flight as RB J.J. Arrington returned the game's opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown. In the second quarter, the Cowboys tied the game as QB Tony Romo completed a 55-yard TD pass to WR Patrick Crayton. In the third quarter, Dallas took the lead with Romo completing a 14-yard TD pass to WR Miles Austin. Arizona would tie the game with QB Kurt Warner completing a 2-yard TD pass to WR Larry Fitzgerald. In the fourth quarter, the Cardinals regained the lead as Warner completed an 11-yard TD pass to WR Steve Breaston, along with kicker Neil Rackers getting a 41-yard field goal. However, the Cowboys tied the game as Romo completed a 70-yard TD pass to RB Marion Barber, along with kicker Nick Folk nailing a 52-yard field goal. In overtime, after forcing a three-and-out, Arizona got the win as WR Sean Morey blocked a Mat McBriar punt attempt, allowing LB Monty Beisel to return it 3 yards for the game-winning touchdown. McBriar would end up with his foot fractured and put on the IR by the Cowboys.

With the impressive win, the Cardinals entered their bye week at 4-2.

In the NFL's 423rd recorded overtime game, this was the first game to end with a blocked punt getting returned for a touchdown.

Coming off their bye week, the Cardinals flew to Bank of America Stadium for a Week 8 duel with the Carolina Panthers. In the first quarter, the Cardinals took flight as kicker Neil Rackers got a 21-yard field goal. In the second quarter, Arizona increased its lead as QB Kurt Warner completed a 5-yard TD pass to WR Anquan Boldin. The Panthers closed out the half with kicker John Kasay getting a 23-yard field goal.

In the third quarter, the Cardinals increased their lead as rookie RB Tim Hightower got a 2-yard TD run. However, Carolina began to rally as RB DeAngelo Williams got a 15-yard TD run, while QB Jake Delhomme completed an 18-yard TD pass to WR Steve Smith. The Cardinals replied with Warner hooking up with Boldin again on a 2-yard TD pass (with a failed PAT), but the Panthers took the lead on Delhomme's 65-yard TD pass to Smith. In the fourth quarter, Carolina pulled away as Kasay nailed a 50-yard field goal.

With the tough loss, the Cardinals fell to 4-3.

Hoping to rebound from their road loss to the Panthers, the Cardinals flew to the Edward Jones Dome for a Week 9 NFC West duel with the St. Louis Rams. In the first quarter, Arizona trailed early as Rams QB Marc Bulger completed an 80-yard TD pass to WR Derek Stanley. In the second quarter, the Cardinals took flight as Safety Antrel Rolle returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown, kicker Neil Rackers got a 36-yard field goal, rookie RB Tim Hightower got a 30-yard TD run, and former Rams QB Kurt Warner completed a 56-yard TD pass to WR Jerheme Urban.

In the third quarter, the Cardinals continued their domination as Warner completed a 7-yard TD pass to WR Anquan Boldin. In the fourth quarter, St. Louis tried to rally as Bulger completed a 3-yard TD pass to WR Torry Holt (with a failed 2-point conversion). Fortunately, Arizona pulled away as Rackers nailed a 30-yard field goal.

With the win, the Cardinals improved to 5–3.

Coming off their divisional road win over the Rams, the Cardinals went home for a Week 10 NFC West rematch with the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football. In the first quarter, Arizona trailed early as 49ers CB Allen Rossum returned the game's opening kickoff 104 yards for a touchdown. The Cardinals would respond as kicker Neil Rackers got a 28-yard field goal. In the second quarter, San Francisco added onto their lead as QB Shaun Hill completed a 31-yard TD pass to WR Josh Morgan. The Cardinals would answer with QB Kurt Warner completing a 13-yard TD pass to WR Anquan Boldin, along with Rackers getting a 33-yard field goal. The 49ers would close out the half with Hill completing an 18-yard TD pass to TE Vernon Davis.

In the third quarter, Arizona crept closer again as Warner completed a 5-yard TD pass to WR Larry Fitzgerald, yet San Francisco replied with kicker Joe Nedney getting a 41-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, the Cardinals took the lead as Rackers nailed a 23-yard field goal, along with Warner hooking up with Boldin again on a 5-yard TD pass (with a failed 2-point conversion). The 49ers would mount a late comeback drive, but Arizona made a successful goal-line stand as time ran out.

With the win, the Cardinals improved to 6-3.

Coming off their close MNF home win over the 49ers, the Cardinals flew to Qwest Field for a Week 11 NFC West duel with the Seattle Seahawks. In the first quarter, the Cardinals took flight as kicker Neil Rackers got a 38-yard field goal, along with RB J.J. Arrington getting a 4-yard TD run. In the second quarter, Arizona increased its lead with Rackers making a 48-yard field goal. The Seahawks answered with QB Matt Hasselbeck completing a 13-yard TD pass to RB Maurice Morris. The Cardinals would close out the half with Rackers getting a 54-yard field goal.

In the third quarter, the Cardinals increased their lead as Rackers nailed a 26-yard field goal and QB Kurt Warner completed a 6-yard TD pass to Arrington. In the fourth quarter, Seattle tried to rally as RB T.J. Duckett got a 1-yard TD run (with a faled 2-point conversion) and a 2-yard TD run. Fortunately, rookie CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie came up with the game-winning interception.

With the win, not only did the Cardinals win three straight for the first time since 2002, but they improved to 7-3 for the first time since 1977.

Coming off their divisional road win over the Seahawks, the Cardinals went home for a Week 12 duel with the defending Super Bowl champions, the New York Giants. In the first quarter, Arizona took fight as kicker Neil Rackers got a 34-yard field goal. In the second quarter, the Giants responded with RB Derrick Ward getting a 1-yard TD run. The Cardinals would regain the lead with rookie RB Tim Hightower getting a 4-yard TD run (with a failed extra-point attempt), yet New York answered with kicker John Carney getting a 33-yard field goal. The Cardinals would reply with Rackers making a 20-yard field goal, yet the Giants closed out the half with QB Eli Manning completing a 12-yard TD pass to WR Amani Toomer.

In the third quarter, New York increased their lead as Manning completed a 2-yard TD pass to FB Madison Hedgecock. Arizona would answer with Hightower getting a 1-yard TD run. In the fourth quarter, the Giants were starting to pull away as Manning completed a 10-yard TD pass to TE Kevin Boss, while Carney made a 27-yard field goal. The Cardinals tried to keep pace as QB Kurt Warner completed a 5-yard TD pass to WR Anquan Boldin, yet New York replied with Carney's 33-yard field goal. Arizona tried to comeback as Rackers nailed a 44-yard field goal, but their following onside kick failed, preserving the Giants' win.

With the loss, the Cardinals fell to 7-4.

Hoping to rebound from their tough home loss to the Giants, the Cardinals flew to Lincoln Financial Field for a Week 13 Thanksgiving battle with the Philadelphia Eagles. In the first quarter, Arizona trailed early as Eagles QB Donovan McNabb completing a 5-yard TD pass to RB Brian Westbrook, while Westbrook got a 1-yard TD run. In the second quarter, the Cardinals continued to trail as McNabb hooked up with Westbrook again on a 2-yard TD pass. The Cardinals would respond as QB Kurt Warner completed a 1-yard TD pass to WR Larry Fitzgerald. Philadelphia would close out the half with kicker David Akers making a 42-yard field goal.

In the third quarter, Arizona's struggles continued as Westbrook got a 9-yard TD run. The Cardinals would answer with Warner completed a 6-yard TD pass to WR Steve Breaston (with a failed 2-point conversion). The Eagles would reply as Akers got a 41-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, the Cardinals tried to rally as Warner hooked up with Fitzgerald again on a 7-yard TD pass. However, Philadelphia replied with McNabb completing a 5-yard TD pass to WR DeSean Jackson, along with an 8-yard TD pass to WR Jason Avant.

With the loss, the Cardinals fell to 7–5.

Arizona dominated St Louis to win the NFC West and clinch their first home playoff game since 1947. Arizona took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter after a 1-yard TD run by Tim Hightower and a Kurt Warner 12-yard TD pass to Larry Fitzgerald. In the second quarter the Rams would score on a 3-yard TD pass from Marc Bulger to Steven Jackson, following a Kurt Warner interception. The Cardinals would respond with two field goals from Neil Rackers from 44 and 22 yards to make the halftime score 20-7. In the third quarter, Cardinals linebacker, Gerald Hayes, would force two Steven Jackson fumbles, the second one recovered by Darnell Dockett, who would return it 11 yards to the end zone for a touchdown. Down 27-7, the Rams attempted to come back in the fourth quarter, starting with a Josh Brown 51-yard field goal to make the score 27-10, but a Bulger pass was intercepted by rookie cornerback, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, for 99 yards, for the touchdown that sealed the game and propelled the Cardinals to their first playoff game since 1998, and their first division title since the days the Cardinals were in St. Louis in 1975.

With the win, the Cardinals record improved to 8-5.

The Cardinals dueled with the Minnesota Vikings for the #3 seed in the NFC playoffs. Things looked bleak for the Cardinals from the beginning. The Vikings started the scoring with a 82-yard punt return for a TD by Bernard Berrian. Two turnovers for the Cardinals, Kurt Warner interception and an Anquan Boldin fumble, would lead to two touchdown passes from Tarvaris Jackson, a 41-yard pass to Berrian and a 19-yard pass to Sidney Rice. The Vikings took a 28-0 lead at halftime after an 11-yard TD pass from Jackson to Chester Taylor. The Cardinals would rally to cut the lead in half with a Jerheme Urban 50-yard TD catch and a field goal blocked by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and recovered by Roderick Hood, who returned it 68 yards for a touchdown. The Vikings would pull away at the end of the third quarter when Jackson threw a 59-yard TD pass to Bobby Wade.

With the loss, the Cardinals dropped to 8-6.

Kurt Warner was benched on the Cardinals last drive in the fourth quarter via a coaching decision.

Hoping to rebound from their home loss to the Vikings, the Cardinals flew to Gillette Stadium for a Week 16 interconference duel with the New England Patriots. Arizona would trail early in the first quarter as Patriots running back LaMont Jordan got a 1-yard and a 3-yard touchdown run. The Cardinals' east coast struggles continued in the second quarter as quarterback Matt Cassel completed a 15-yard touchdown pass to running back Kevin Faulk and an 11-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Wes Welker, followed by kicker Stephen Gostkowski's 38-yard field goal.

In the third quarter, Arizona's deficit continued to climb as Cassel completed a 76-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Randy Moss, followed by Gostkowski's 35-yard and 24-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, New England concluded its domination with Gostkowski's 30-yard field goal. The Cardinals would then get a meaningless touchdown as quarterback Matt Leinart completed a 78-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

With the loss, Arizona fell to 8-7.

Original starting quarterback Kurt Warner (6/18 for 30 yards) was pulled in the third quarter via coach's decision.

Hoping to close out the regular season on a positive note, the Cardinals went home for a Week 17 NFC West rematch with the Seattle Seahawks. Arizona would trail early in the first quarter as Seahawks running back T.J. Duckett got a 1-yard touchdown run. The Cardinals would respond in the second quarter with quarterback Kurt Warner completing a 16-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jerheme Urban and a 5-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Seattle would tie the game at halftime with quarterback Seneca Wallace completing a 30-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Deion Branch.

Arizona would regain the lead in the third quarter as Warner completed a 38-yard touchdown pass to Fitzgerald and a 14-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Steve Breaston. Seattle tried to rally in the fourth quarter as Wallace completed a 2-yard touchdown pass to Branch, yet the Cardinals would close out the game with kicker Neil Rackers nailing a 23-yard and a 32-yard field goal.

With the win, the Cardinals closed out the regular season at 9–7.

The Cardinals sent a total of 5 players to the 2009 Pro Bowl. On offense, Kurt Warner was the starting quarterback, with Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin both at wide receiver. On defense, Adrian Wilson went as one of the conference's defensive backs. Sean Morey would be start on special teams. This is arguably the most sucessful season in modern Cardinals history.

Entering the playoffs at the NFC's fourth seed, the Cardinals began their playoff run at home against the #5 Atlanta Falcons, in their first home playoff game since 1947.

Arizona would get the early lead in the first quarter as quarterback Kurt Warner completed a 42-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. The Falcons would respond with kicker Jason Elam's 30-yard field goal, yet the Cardinals struck right back as Warner completed a 71-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Anquan Boldin. Boldin would pull his hamstring running down the sideline and did not return. Atlanta would take the halftime lead with running back Michael Turner getting a 7-yard touchdown run, followed by quarterback Matt Ryan completing a 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end Justin Peelle following a Kurt Warner interception.

Arizona would regain the lead in the third quarter as safety Antrel Rolle returned a Turner fumble 27 yards for a touchdown, while rookie running back Tim Hightower got a 4-yard touchdown run. The Cardinals would increase their lead in the fourth quarter as defensive end Antonio Smith sacked Ryan in his own endzone for a safety. The Falcons tried to comeback as Ryan completed a 5-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Roddy White, yet Arizona's offense would drain any second that Atlanta needed to rally. The Cardinals ended any chance the Falcons had for a comeback when Kurt Warner hooked up with tight end Stephen Spach for 23 yards on a third and sixteen with 2:16 left in the game.

With the win, the Cardinals improved their overall record to 10–7.

Coming off their wild card home win over the Falcons, the Cardinals flew to Bank of America Stadium for the NFC Divisional round against the #2 Carolina Panthers, in a rematch of their Week 8 contest. The Panthers came in 8-0 at home and the Cardinals were 0-5 on the East Coast.

Arizona would trail early in the first quarter as Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart got a 9-yard touchdown run. The Cardinals would respond with quarterback Kurt Warner completing a 3-yard touchdown pass to rookie running back Tim Hightower, followed by running back Edgerrin James' 4-yard touchdown run. In the second quarter, Arizona took control as kicker Neil Rackers got a 49-yard and a 30-yard field goal, followed by Warner's 29-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

The Cardinals would add onto their lead in the third quarter as Rackers made a 33-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, Arizona would end its dominating night with Rackers nailing a 20-yard field goal. Carolina would end the game's scoring with quarterback Jake Delhomme's 8-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Steve Smith (with a failed 2-point conversion).

With the amazing upset win, not only did the Cardinals improve their overall record to 11-7, but they also advanced to their first NFC Championship Game in franchise history.

Arizona's defense also had a stellar game, forcing Delhomme into 6 turnovers (5 interceptions and 1 fumble), along with holding the Panthers' running back duo of Williams and Stewart to 74 combined rushing yards.

Fitzgerald (8 receptions and a touchdown) would set a franchise postseason record with 166 receiving yards. Anquan Boldin did not play due to a hamstring injury, but Fitzgerald was able to make up the difference.

With the win the Cardinals moved to 11-7. Because the Eagles won the next day, Arizona hosted the NFC Championship Game. The Cardinals also won their first game on the East Coast this season.

Coming off their east-coast divisional road win over the Panthers, the Cardinals went home for the NFC Championship Game against the #6 Philadelphia Eagles, who were coming off their victory over the #1 New York Giants, in a rematch of their Thanksgiving game.

Arizona capped off the game's opening kickoff with a 9-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kurt Warner to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. The Eagles responded with kicker David Akers making a 45-yard field goal. With the score at 7-3, Akers missed a 47-yard field goal attempt, the first he missed in his last 20 attempts in the postseason, an NFL Record. The Cardinals answered in the second quarter as Warner hooked up with Fitzgerald again on a flea-flicker, Warner to Arrington, back to Warner, who threw it to Fitzgerald for a 62-yard TD pass. Philadelphia struck back as Akers made a 33-yard field goal, but Arizona closed out the half with Warner's 1-yard touchdown pass to Fitzgerald and kicker Neil Rackers' 49-yard field goal in the final seconds of the half to make the score 24-6.

The Eagles began to rally in the third quarter as quarterback Donovan McNabb completed a 6-yard and a 31-yard touchdown pass to tight end Brent Celek with a failed PAT on the latter touchdown. In the fourth quarter, Philadelphia took the lead on 62-yard touchdown pass from McNabb to rookie wide receiver DeSean Jackson. The Eagles went for the two-point conversion, hoping for a three point lead, but failed, leaving the score 25-24. However, the Cardinals regained the lead when Warner completed an 8-yard touchdown pass to rookie running back Tim Hightower and a successful two-point conversion pass by Warner to tight end Ben Patrick. The Arizona defense was able to prevent Philadelphia from making a comeback, as the Eagles drove to the Arizona 47, but then McNabb threw four straight incompletions to turn the ball over on downs. The Cardinals went three and out on the next possession, giving the Eagles only 7 seconds in the game, but the Eagles were unable to score on a 93-yard hook and ladder play after McNabb completed to Jackson, who attempted to lateral, but the lateral was picked off by defensive lineman Darnell Dockett.

The Cardinals improved their overall record to 12–7, and also won their first National Football Conference crown, allowing them to advance to their first Super Bowl appearance in franchise history. They became the first team since the 1979 Los Angeles Rams to finish the regular season with 9 wins and make it to the Super Bowl.

Fitzgerald had a stellar performance with 152 yards and three of Arizona's four touchdowns and setting a new postseason record with 419 receiving yards, surpassing the prior record set by Jerry Rice in 1988.

Two week following their NFC Championship victory over the Eagles, the Cardinals flew to Raymond James Stadium for their Super Bowl XLIII duel with the AFC Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. Arizona would trail early in the first quarter as Steelers kicker Jeff Reed got an 18-yard field goal. The Steelers would add onto their lead as running back Gary Russell got a 1-yard touchdown run. The Cardinals would answer with quarterback Kurt Warner completing a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Ben Patrick. Arizona came close to scoring again nearing the end of the half, but Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown.

The Steelers would increase their lead in the third quarter as Reed nailed a 21-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, the Cardinals would take the lead as Warner completed a 1-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, Steelers center Justin Hartwig being called for holding in his own endzone (giving Arizona a safety), and Warner hooking up with Fitzgerald again on a 64-yard touchdown pass. However, Pittsburgh responded with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completing a 6-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Santonio Holmes. The Cardinals tried to come back, but the Steelers' defense forced a fumble to seal the win.

With the loss, Arizona closed out their season with an overall record of 12-8.

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2007 Arizona Cardinals season

The 2007 Arizona Cardinals season was the 88th season for the team in the National Football League, and their 20th season in Arizona. They improved upon their 5–11 record in 2006 after finishing last place in the NFC West, by finishing 8–8.

Head coach Ken Whisenhunt will be entering his first year of his term with the Cardinals. He was previously the offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Whisenhunt signed a contract with the Cardinals on January 14, 2007 after the Cardinals released former head coach Dennis Green.

The Cardinals began their 2007 campaign on the road against their NFC West foe, the San Francisco 49ers. In the first quarter, Arizona trailed early as 49ers RB Frank Gore got a 6-yard TD run for the only score of the period. In the second quarter, the Cardinals took the lead with kicker Neil Rackers getting a 35-yard field goal, while RB Edgerrin James got a 7-yard TD run. San Francisco would tie the game with kicker Joe Nedney getting a 33-yard field goal.

In the third quarter, the 49ers regained the lead with Nedney kicking a 30-yard field goal for the only score of the period. In the fourth quarter, the Cardinals retook the lead with QB Matt Leinart completing a 5-yard TD pass to WR Anquan Boldin. However, late in the game, the Cards' defense failed to hold off San Francisco's ensuing drive, which ended with WR Arnaz Battle getting a 1-yard TD run. With just over :20 seconds left in the game, Arizona had one final chance to save the game. Unfortunately, Leinart's pass to WR Larry Fitzgerald was intercepted by 49ers CB Shawntae Spencer.

With the loss, the Cardinals began their season at 0–1.

Hoping to rebound from their divisional road loss to the 49ers, the Cardinals played their Week 2 homeopener against their NFC West foe, the Seattle Seahawks. In the first quarter, the Cards took to the skies first with kicker Neil Rackers getting a 28-yard field goal for the only score of the period. In the second quarter, Arizona continued to pound away with QB Matt Leinart completing a 30-yard TD pass to TE Leonard Pope, along RB Edgerrin James getting a 17-yard TD run. The Seahawks would get their only score of the half with QB Matt Hasselbeck completing a 24-yard TD pass to WR Nate Burleson.

In the third quarter, the Cardinals' lead was gone with Seattle RB Shaun Alexander getting a 16-yard TD run and kicker Josh Brown getting a 28-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, the Cards trailed as Brown got another 28-yard field goal. Fortunately, Arizona responded with Rackers kicking a 52-yard field goal. Late in the game, the Cards defense managed to recover a Seahawk fumble. It would eventually turn into Rackers' 4th career game-winning field goal as made it from 42 yards out as time ran out.

With the win, the Cardinals improved to 1–1.

Coming off their divisional home win over the Seahawks, the Cardinals flew to M&T Bank Stadium for an intraconference bird battle with the Baltimore Ravens. In the first quarter, the Ravens flew first with kicker Matt Stover getting a 21-yard field goal for the only score of the period. In the second quarter, the Ravens increased their lead with Stover's 28-yard field goal. Arizona would manage to get on the board with kicker Neil Rackers getting a 48-yard field goal, yet Baltimore managed to put more and more distance from the Cards with QB Steve McNair completing a 13-yard TD pass to WR Derrick Mason, along with WR/PR Yamon Figurs returning a punt 75 yards for a touchdown.

In the third quarter, the Cardinals managed to get a 40-yard field goal from Rackers, yet the Ravens continued its domination with Stover getting a 43-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, with QB Matt Leinart being ineffective, back-up QB Kurt Warner came in and ignited the Cards' offense with a 5-yard TD pass and a 32-yard TD pass to WR Anquan Boldin. Afterwards, Arizona tied the game with Rackers getting a 41-yard field goal. Unfortunately, the Ravens got a last-second win with Stover nailing a 46-yard field goal.

With the loss, the Cardinals fell to 1–2.

Trying to rebound from their road loss to the Ravens, the Cardinals went home for another interconference fight, as they would face the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the first quarter, Arizona trailed as Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger completed a 43-yard TD pass to WR Santonio Holmes for the only score of the quarter. However, in the third quarter, the Cards started to fight back. As starting QB Matt Leinart struggled, back-up QB Kurt Warner came in and completed a 6-yard TD pass to WR Jerheme Urban for the only score of the period. In the fourth quarter, Leinart was put back in and the Cardinals didn't miss a beat as rookie WR Steve Breaston returned a punt 73 yards for a touchdown, along with RB Edgerrin James getting a 2-yard TD pass. However, Pittsburgh retaliated as Roethlisberger and Holmes hooked up with each other again on a 7-yard TD pass. Afterwards, Arizona held off an attempt to tie the game and won.

With the win, the Cardinals improved to 2–2.

Coming off their impressive home win over the Steelers, the Cardinals flew to the Edward Jones Dome for a Week 5 divisional duel with the winless St. Louis Rams. In the first quarter, Arizona trailed early with Rams kicker Jeff Wilkins getting a 46-yard field goal. The Cards would tie the game with kicker Neil Rackers getting a 50-yard field goal. In the second quarter, the Cardinals trailed again with QB Gus Frerotte completing a 16-yard TD pass to WR Drew Bennett. Arizona would tie the game with RB Edgerrin James fumbling at the 1-yard line and OG Reggie Wells recovering the fumble in the endzone for a touchdown. However, on the Cards next possession, QB Matt Leinart was sacked by MLB Will Witherspoon, causing his left collarbone to get broken, getting him out for the rest of the game. Back-up QB Kurt Warner (former Rams QB) came in for the rest of the game. Afterwards, St. Louis would respond with Wilkins kicking a 35-yard field goal. Afterwards, Arizona would end the half with Warner getting a 1-yard TD run.

In the third quarter, the Rams retook the lead with Frerotte completing an 11-yard TD pass to WR Torry Holt. Afterwards, the Cards would tie the game with Rackers getting a 32-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, the Cards increased its lead with CB Roderick Hood returning an interception 68 yards for a touchdown. St. Louis tried to pass the Cardinals for the lead as Wilkins got a 31-yard field goal. Fortunately, Arizona increased its lead with Warner's 7-yard TD pass to WR Larry Fitzgerald. The Rams would get close with Frerotte's 29-yard TD pass to TE Randy McMichael, followed up with a successful two-point conversion pass from Frerotte to Holt. Fortunately, the Cards would emerge victorious.

With the win, the Cardinals improved to 3–2.

Coming off their divisional road win over the Rams, the Cardinals went home for a Week 6 intraconference game against the Carolina Panthers and QB Vinny Testaverde, whom Arizona tried to sign for to back up Warner, yet failed. Backing up Warner for the remainder of the year would be QB Tim Rattay, whom the Cards recently signed.

In the first quarter, the Cardinals trailed early as Panthers kicker John Kasay kicked a 33-yard field goal for the only score of the period. In the second quarter, Arizona continued to trail as Kasay gave Carolina a 43-yard field goal. The Cards would take the lead with RB Edgerrin James getting a 23-yard TD run. In the third quarter, the Panthers jumped back in front again with Kasay getting a 24-yard field goal. Arizona would retake the lead with kicker Neil Rackers getting a 50-yard field goal. Unfortunately, in the fourth quarter, the Cards lost control as Carolina took control with Testaverde completing a 65-yard TD pass to WR Steve Smith, Kasay nailing a 45-yard field goal, and RB DeAngelo Williams getting a 13-yard TD run.

With the loss, not only did the Cardinals fall to 3–3, but starting QB Kurt Warner (2/2 for 21 yards) left the game in the first quarter with a strained left elbow.

Hoping to rebound from their home loss to the Panthers, the Cardinals flew to FedEx Field for a Week 7 duel with the Washington Redskins. QB Kurt Warner got the start, despite having a torn left elbow ligament.

In the first quarter, Arizona trailed early as Redskins RB Clinton Portis got a 2-yard TD run for the only score of the period. In the second quarter, things got worse for the Cards as Warner's second interception was returned by LB London Fletcher 27 yards for a touchdown. Arizona would finally respond as Warner threw a 2-yard TD pass to WR Anquan Boldin (with a failed PAT).

In the third quarter, the Cards continued to struggle as Portis gave Washington a 1-yard TD run for the only score of the period. In the fourth quarter, Arizona managed to draw close with Warner and Boldin hooking up with each other again on a 10-yard TD pass, along with back-up QB Tim Rattay completing a 1-yard TD pass to TE Leonard Pope (with a failed 2-point conversion). The Cards would recover their onside kick and even get into position to get a game-winning 55-yard field goal from kicker Neil Rackers. Unfortunately, the kick went wide left, securing their second-straight loss.

With the loss, the Cardinals entered their bye week at 3–4.

Coming off their bye week, the Cardinals flew to Raymond James Stadium for a Week 9 intraconference duel with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In the first quarter, the Cards flew first with kicker Neil Rackers getting a 47-yard field goal. However, the Buccaneers took the lead with QB Jeff Garcia completing a 37-yard TD pass to WR Joey Galloway. In the second quarter, Arizona continued to struggle as Tampa Bay kicker Matt Bryant nailed a 32-yard field goal for the only score of the period.

In the third quarter, the Cardinals continued to trail as Buccanners RB Earnest Graham got a 2-yard TD run. In the fourth quarter, Arizona began to fight back as RB Edgerrin James got a 3-yard TD run. Unfortunately, late in the game, during the Cards last offensive drive, QB Kurt Warner would get intercepted by Safety Jermaine Phillips. Even though replays clearly showed that he didn't stay in bounds, Arizona was out of timeouts and therefore were unable to challenge the play.

With the loss, the Cardinals fell to 3–5.

Trying to snap a three-game losing skid, the Cardinals went home for a Week 10 duel with the Detroit Lions. In the first quarter, Arizona trailed early as Lions RB Kevin Jones got a 4-yard TD run. The Cards would reply with kicker Neil Rackers nailing a 23-yard field goal. In the second quarter, the Cardinals took the lead with QB Kurt Warner completing a 1-yard TD pass to WR Larry Fitzgerald, while back-up QB Tim Rattay completed a 2-yard TD pass to TE Leonard Pope.

In the third quarter, Arizona continued its scorching as Warner completed a 16-yard TD pass to Pope. Detroit would respond with Kitna completing a 7-yard TD pass to WR Roy Williams. In the fourth quarter, the Cards pulled away with Warner and Fitzgerald hooking up with each other again on a 20-yard TD pass. The Lions' last score would be another 7-yard TD pass from Kitna to Williams.

With the win, the Cardinals improved to 4–5.

Coming off their home win over the Lions, the Cardinals flew to Paul Brown Stadium for a Week 11 interconference duel with the Cincinnati Bengals. In the first quarter, the Cards trailed early as Bengals QB Carson Palmer completing a 19-yard TD pass to WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Arizona would respond with CB Antrel Rolle returning an interception 55 yards for an interception. In the second quarter, the Bengals responded with kicker Shayne Graham getting a 41-yard field goal. Fortunately, the Cardinals would take the lead with QB Kurt Warner completing a 44-yard TD pass to WR Anquan Boldin. Cincinnati tried to reply as Graham kicked a 38-yard field goal. Fortunately, Arizona answered with Warner completing a 5-yard TD pass to WR Larry Fitzgerald.

In the third quarter, the Cards increased their lead with RB Edgerrin James getting a 3-yard TD run. The Bengals tried to comeback as Palmer completed a 37-yard to WR Chris Henry, while RB DeDe Dorsey returning a blocked punt 19 yards for a touchdown. Fortunately, Arizona held to win as Rolle returned his second interception 54 yards for a touchdown.

With the win, the Cardinals improved to 5–5.

Antrel Rolle, who had three interceptions (returning 2 for touchdowns), became the 18th player in NFL history to have 2 interceptions in one game.

Coming off an impressive road win over the Bengals, the Cardinals went home for a Week 12 NFC West rematch with the San Francisco 49ers. In the first quarter, the Cards took flight early as QB Kurt Warner completed a 28-yard TD reception to WR Larry Fitzgerald. The 49ers responded with QB Trent Dilfer completing a 2-yard TD pass to TE Vernon Davis. In the second quarter, San Francisco took the lead with kicker Joe Nedney getting a 19-yard field goal & RB Frank Gore getting an 11-yard TD run. Afterwards, Arizona regained the lead with RB Marcel Shipp getting a 1-yard TD run & Warner hooking up with Fitzgerald again on a 48-yard TD run.

However, in the third quarter, the 49ers retook the lead with Dilfer completing a 57-yard TD pass to WR Arnaz Battle for the only score of the period. In the fourth quarter, the Cardinals regained the lead with QB Tim Rattay completing a 2-yard TD pass to rookie TE Ben Patrick. Afterwards, San Francisco got the lead again with Gore getting a 35-yard TD run. Then, the Cards tied the game with kicker Neil Rackers getting a 19-yard field goal. In overtime, Arizona had a chance to win the game with a 32-yard field goal. The kick was good, but a delay of game penalty wiped it away. On the second try, Rackers missed it wide left. In the end, the 49ers got the win with Warner fumbling the ball after getting hit in his endzone and LB Tully Banta-Cain fall on it for the touchdown and the win.

With the heartbreaking loss, the Cardinals fell to 5–6, despite Warner throwing a career-best 484 yards.

Hoping to rebound from their tough divisional home loss to the 49ers, the Cardinals stayed at home for a Week 13 interconference duel with the Cleveland Browns. In the first quarter, Arizona jumped out to an early lead as CB Roderick Hood returned an interception 71 yards for a touchdown, along with QB Kurt Warner's 5-yard TD pass to TE Leonard Pope. The Browns would get on the board with kicker Phil Dawson getting a 37-yard field goal. In the second quarter, Cleveland drew close as QB Derek Anderson completed a 6-yard TD pass to RB Jamal Lewis for the only score of the period.

In the third quarter, the Cards responded with Warner completing a 1-yard TD pass to WR Bryant Johnson. However, the Browns drew closer as Anderson completed a 67-yard TD pass to WR Braylon Edwards (with WR/KR/PR Joshua Cribbs completing a 2-point conversion pass to TE Kellen Winslow). In the fourth quarter, Arizona added on to its lead with kicker Neil Rackers getting a 33-yard field goal, while Dawson gave Cleveland a 22-yard field goal. Afterwards, the Cards increased its lead with Rackers nailing a 19-yard field goal. However, the Browns had one final shot towards the end zone. Fortunately, Anderson's pass to Winslow ended up being caught out of bounds. Replays seemed to indicate Winslow was forced out, which would have been good for a touchdown had it been called on the field. But force-outs are not reviewable, so the touchdown did not count and the Cardinals survived.

With the win, the Cardinals improved to 6–6.

Coming off their home win over the Browns, the Cardinals flew to Qwest Field for a Week 14 NFC West rematch with the Seattle Seahawks. In the first quarter, Arizona trailed early as Seahawks kicker Josh Brown managed to get a 23-yard field goal, along with QB Matt Hasselbeck completing a 7-yard TD pass to WR Nate Burleson. In the second quarter, the Cards continued to trail as Hasselbeck completed a 15-yard TD pass to WR Bobby Engram and a 17-yard TD pass to WR Deion Branch. The Cardinals would get on the board as QB Kurt Warner completed a 5-yard TD pass to WR Bryant Johnson, yet Seattle increased their lead prior to halftime with Brown kicking a 41-yard field goal.

In the third quarter, the Cards tried to rally as Warner completed a 2-yard TD pass to WR Jerheme Urban for the only score of the period. However, in the fourth quarter, the Seahawks pulled away as Hasselbeck completed a 3-yard TD pass to TE Marcus Pollard, RB Josh Scobey tackling Cardinals punter Mitch Berger in the end zone for a safety, and CB Marcus Trufant returning an interception 84 yards for a touchdown (with a failed PAT). Arizona tried to comeback as Warner completed an 11-yard TD pass to WR Larry Fitzgerald. However, Seattle's defense was too much to overcome.

With the loss, the Cardinals fell to 6–7.

On the day, Kurt Warner threw a career-worst 5 interceptions.

Hoping to rebound from their divisional road loss to the Seahawks, the Cardinals flew to the Louisiana Superdome for a Week 15 intraconference duel with the New Orleans Saints. In the first quarter, the Cardinals took flight as QB Kurt Warner completed a 1-yard TD pass to TE Troy Bienemann. The Saints responded with QB Drew Brees completing a 19-yard TD pass to WR Marques Colston. In the second quarter, Arizona trailed as RB Aaron Stecker got a 1-yard TD run. The Cardinals would tie the game Warner completing an 18-yard TD pass to WR Larry Fitzgerald. However, New Orleans took the lead with Brees completing a 32-yard TD pass to WR David Patten.

In the third quarter, the Saints increased their lead as RB Aaron Stecker managed to get a 6-yard TD run. The Cards would sneak closer as Warner completed a 3-yard TD pass to rookie TE Ben Patrick. However, New Orleans answered with kicker Martín Gramática getting a 31-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, Arizona tried to mount a comeback as kicker Neil Rackers nailed a 26-yard field goal. However, the Saints defense was too much to overcome.

The Cardinals were officially eliminated from playoff contention the next day, after the Minnesota Vikings defeated the Chicago Bears.

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2006 Arizona Cardinals season

The 2006 Arizona Cardinals season began with the team trying to improve on their 5-11 record in 2005. They also moved into the Cardinals Stadium in Glendale, Arizona (one of the western suburbs of Phoenix). The stadium was christened University of Phoenix Stadium on September 26. Despite a somewhat promising start, the team suffered a few setbacks, including key losses to the Dallas Cowboys and the eventual NFC Champion Chicago Bears, and ended the season (again) at a disappointing 5-11 record. Head coach Dennis Green was fired after the season, replaced by Ken Whisenhunt.

On March 12, 2006, the Cardinals acquired former Colts RB Edgerrin James through free agency, by signing him to a four-year, $30 million contract.

The Cardinals then selected the 2004 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Matt Leinart with the 10th pick of the 2006 NFL Draft. Leinart played for the University of Southern California and won 1 1/2 national championships with the team in 2003 and 2004.

Leinart missed the first two weeks of the 2006 Cardinals training camp (and the opening game of the preseason) due to prolonged contract negotiations, but on August 15, the Arizona Republic, KTAR radio and ESPN reported that Leinart agreed to a six-year contract that could earn him a maximum of $51 million, according to his agent, Tom Condon. The contract reportedly contains $14 million in guaranteed money, and likely involves "escalator" clauses that could increase Leinart's salary in the later years of the deal should he meet certain playing-time incentives.

Also in the 2006 draft, the Cardinals would select another USC alum, Guard Taitusi "Deuce" Latui in the 3rd round, followed by Georgia TE Leonard Pope, Michigan DT Gabriel Watson, Louisville LB Brandon Johnson, Virginia Tech DT Jonathan Lewis, and Brigham Young WR Todd Watkins. This as well as the dynamic duo that is Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald at WR could (eventually) make the Cardinals a serious threat in the NFC West.

The Cardinals' Ring of Honor was started in 2006 to mark the opening of University of Phoenix Stadium. It honors former Cardinal greats from all eras of the franchise's history. Following is a list of inductees and the dates that they were inducted.

The Cardinals opened the regular season at home against the San Francisco 49ers on September 10. This game would be the inaugural regular season game played at the University of Phoenix Stadium. In the first quarter, Niners QB Alex Smith and TE Vernon Davis scored the inaugural regular season TD in the new Stadium as they connected on a 31-yard pass. Fortunately, the Cardinals would respond, as QB Kurt Warner threw the very first TD pass by a Cardinals player in the new stadium on a 2-yard strike to WR Troy Walters. Newly-acquired RB Edgerrin James provided the very first rushing touchdown in their new stadium as he ran the ball into the end zone on a 1-yard strike. Afterwards, Warner threw another TD pass, this time to WR Anquan Boldin. In the second quarter, Niners RB Frank Gore helped San Francisco get closer as he ran on a 4-yard TD play. Kicker Neil Rackers helped improve the Cardinals' lead, as he kicked a 36-yard field goal. In the third quarter, both sides each got a touchdown. S.F.'s Gore scored on a 2-yard run, while Arizona's Warner threw a 7-yard TD to TE Adam Bergen. In the fourth quarter, it was all field goals to end the game, as Niners kicker Joe Nedney kicked a 22-yard field goal. Then, Rackers helped Arizona on a 30-yard field goal. Even though Nedney would kick one more field goal for San Francisco (a 44-yard field goal), the Cardinals were able to barely escape with the win and a 1-0 start.

For Week 2, the Cardinals flew to the Northwest to take on the defending NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks. From the get-go, the Cardinals trailed, as the opposing RB Shaun Alexander to score a TD on a 2-yard run. Then, Arizona allowed opposing QB Matt Hasselbeck to complete a 49-yard TD pass to WR Darrell Jackson. There wouldn't be anymore scoring by either team for the remainder of the half. In the third quarter, the Cardinals finally got on the border with kicker Neil Rackers nailing a 43-yard field goal. However, Seattle managed to put the game away with FB Mack Strong's 3-yard TD run. The Cardinals would get a TD, with QB Kurt Warner completing a 40-yard pass to WR Bryant Johnson, but in the end, the Seahawks were the better team in this fight and made the Cardinals move to 1-1.

The Cardinals returned home to face their third NFC West opponent, the St. Louis Rams. QB Kurt Warner drew first blood against his former team, as completed a 12-yard TD strike to WR Larry Fitzgerald for the only score of the first quarter. However, in the second quarter, it was all St. Louis. Kicker Jeff Wilkins got a 26-yard field goal, QB Marc Bulger completed a 9-yard pass to WR Torry Holt, and Wilkens got a 47-yard field goal as time ran out on the first half. In the third quarter, Wilkens helped the Rams increase their lead with a 21-yard field, which would be the only score of the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, even a valiant effort for a comeback, the only score that Arizona could muster was a 6-yard TD run by RB Edgerrin James. After a Bulger fumble deep in St. Louis territory while trying to run out the clock set up the Cardinals for an easy chip-shot field goal to win, Warner fumbled a snap and St. Louis recovered to seal the victory. Adding to the fact that Warner had 3 interceptions during the game, the Cardinals would get their very first loss in their new stadium as they fell to 1-2. A few days after the game, ESPN reported that rookie QB Matt Leinart would be starting the next game. The next day, Arizona's head coach announced that the club would be sticking with the veteran Warner.

Hoping to recover from a two-game skid, the Cardinals flew to the Georgia Dome for a Week 4 match-up with the Atlanta Falcons. From the get-go, the Cardinals trailed, as Falcons kicker Morten Andersen completed a 34-yard and a 40-yard field goal in the opening period. The Cardinals would respond with a 29-yard field goal by kicker Neil Rackers. In the second quarter, Arizona continued to trail, as Koenan belted a 51-yard field goal for Atlanta. The Cardinals would strike back with SS Adrian Wilson returning an interception 99 yards for a touchdown, but that would be the only time that the Cardinals saw the lead, as Andersen got a 36-yard field goal to give the Falcons the lead at halftime. In the second half, the Cardinals got shot down and shut-out, as Atlanta scored 20 unanswered points (Andersen's 26-yard field goal, CB DeAngelo Hall's 37-yard interception return in the third quarter, rookie RB Jerious Norwood's 78-yard TD run & Andersen's 28-yard field goal in the fourth quarter). Not even QB Matt Leinart, who replaced QB Kurt Warner in the fourth quarter, could save Arizona from dropping three-straight games, as the Cardinals fell to 1-3. The game showed just how much the Cardinals must improve their offensive line, as they were whipped for the whole game by the Falcons defensive line.

The Cardinals hosted a close contest with the Kansas City Chiefs. The game was the first at the newly-christened University of Phoenix Stadium, which signed its naming rights deal with the Cardinals two days after Arizona's last home game vs. St. Louis.

The Cards started off hot as Matt Leinart, making his first NFL start, threw two touchdowns in the first quarter to his two top targets, Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald. The Chiefs responded early in the second quarter with a 45-yard field goal by kicker Lawrence Tynes, and a touchdown pass from quarterback Damon Huard to running back Larry Johnson. Cards kicker Neil Rackers added a 41-yard field at the end of the first half.

Another Rackers field goal, this time from 45 yards, accounted for the only score in the third quarter. The Chiefs then scored 13 unanswered points to win the game, with a touchdown pass from Huard to Samie Parker, and two field goals by Tynes (40, 19). Tynes' last field goal was set up by a 78-yard screen pass from Huard to Johnson. Johnson suffered a sprained neck at the end of the play on a violent face mask tackle by Cards' cornerback Antrel Rolle, who was fined $12,500 for the penalty.

A last second 51-yard field goal attempt by Rackers to send the game to overtime failed, giving the Cards their fourth straight loss. During the game Larry Fitzgerald pulled a hamstring and missed 3 games, returning Week 10 against Dallas.

The Cards lost their fifth straight game to the undefeated Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football.

The Cards came out smoking early as QB Matt Leinart for the second straight week threw two touchdown passes in the first quarter, connecting with WR's Bryant Johnson and Anquan Boldin. Cards K Neil Rackers converted field goals of 41 and 28 yards respectively to give the Cards a seemingly insurmountable 20-0 halftime lead. The Cards held Bears QB Rex Grossman in check, forcing him into six turnovers (four interceptions and two fumbles). Bears K Robbie Gould drilled a 23 yard field goal midway through the third quarter for the Bears only offensive points of the night. Cards K Rackers responded with a 29 yard field goal of his own to extend the lead to 23-3. The Bears went on to score 21 unanswered points on defense and special teams, two fumble recoveries by Mike Brown and Charles Tillman respectively, and an 82 yard punt return touchdown by rookie Devin Hester. Cards K Rackers was set up to win the game with a 40 yard field goal in the waning minutes, but the kick sailed wide left and they dropped to 1-5 on the season.

The loss marked the first time in history that a team blew a 20-point lead to an opponent who did not score any offensive touchdowns. At the post-game press conference, coach Dennis Green erupted at reporters. "The Bears are who we thought they were! That's why we took the damn field! You want to crown them, crown their asses! But they are who we thought they were, and we let them off the hook!" He then smacked the microphone before storming out of the room. The clip quickly became a highlight of sports shows and popular online. (An edited version of the clip is being used in current Coors Light advertisements).

Hoping to end their horrendous five-game skid, the Cardinals traveled to McAfee Coliseum to face the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders came into the game at 0-5, the only winless team in the NFL. This would be the Cardinals' first game under new offensive coordinator Mike Kruczek, who replaced the fired Keith Rowen in the wake of Arizona's meltdown in the fourth quarter of the game against Chicago.

Arizona has visited Oakland only once before. The Cardinals won 34-31 on an overtime field goal by Bill Gramatica on December 2, 2001. The Raiders won the last meeting with the Cardinals, 41-20 at Sun Devil Stadium on November 24, 2002.

In the first quarter, the Cards string of bad luck continued to haunt them, as Raiders RB ReShard Lee got a 1-yard TD run, while QB Andrew Walter threw a 32-yard TD pass to WR Randy Moss. In the second quarter, both teams swapped field goals. Oakland kicker Sebastian Janikowski got a 31-yard field goal, while Arizona kicker Neil Rackers nailed a 29-yard try. In the third quarter, the Raiders continued to pour on the points, as Janikowski got a 35-yard field goal, while rookie Strong Safety Michael Huff sacked Cardinals QB Matt Leinart in the endzone for a safety. The only response Arizona could bring up was Rackers kicking a 45-yard field goal. He would kick one more in the fourth quarter (38-yarder), but that would be all that the Cardinals could produce as they now dropped six-straight games.

The Cards visit Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin to take on the Packers. Arizona has not visited Lambeau Field since a 49-24 loss in the final game of the 1999 season on January 2, 2000. The Cardinals defeated the Packers 20-13 in the last meeting between the teams on September 21, 2003 at Sun Devil Stadium. Unfortnately, their 2003 victory stayed as a memory, as the Cardinals dropped their seventh-straight game, heading into their Bye Week 1-7.

In the wake of this loss, concern for the remainder of the once-promising season was so strong, DE Bertrand Berry led a players-only meeting at the Cardinals HQ in Tempe on November 7. Some days earlier, Berry openly questioned his teammates' commitment to success during an interview on a local radio program.

Coming off their Bye Week, the Cardinals went home for a Week 10 fight with the Dallas Cowboys. In the first quarter, Arizona trailed early as kicker Mike Vanderjagt nailed a 28-yard field goal for the only score of the period. In the second quarter, the Cardinals' year-long struggles continued as QB Tony Romo completed a 30-yard TD pass to WR Patrick Crayton. The Cards would respond with a 28-yard field goal by kicker Neil Rackers. Afterwards, Vanderjagt gave the Cowboys some breathing room with a 38-yard field goal as time ran out on the half. In the third quarter, things continued to get worse for Arizona as Romo completed a 51-yard TD pass to WR Terrell Owens for the only score of the period. In the fourth quarter, Dallas would wrap up the game with RB Marion Barber's 5-yard TD run. The Cardinals would get a touchdown as QB Matt Leinart got a 3-yard TD run. However, the Cards would drop their eighth-straight game. With the loss, the Cardinals fell to 1-8.

Trying to end their eight-game skid, the Cardinals stayed at home for a Week 11 fight with the Detroit Lions. After a scoreless first quarter, the Cards struck first in the second quarter with QB Matt Leinart completing a 2-yard TD pass to WR Bryant Johnson. Afterwards, kicker Neil Rackers nailed a 36-yard field goal for Arizona. In the third quarter, Leinart would get a 9-yard TD run and give the Cardinals a 17-0 lead. However, the Lions started to creep back into the game. It started with kicker Jason Hanson's 32-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, Detroit started to threaten Arizona's lead as RB Arlen Harris got a 1-yard TD run. Fortunately, the Cards defense held up for the win. Not only did the Cardinals improve to 2-8, but they also snapped their eight-game losing streak.

Coming off of their home win over the Lions, the Cardinals flew to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome for a Week 12 fight with the Minnesota Vikings. This game was noted for the return of head coach Green to Minnesota where he coached from 1992 to 2001. On the very first play of the first quarter, RB J.J. Arrington returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown. The Vikings would respond with RB Chester Taylor's 1-yard TD run. In the second quarter, Cards kicker Neil Rackers gave Arizona a 21-yard and a 50-yard field goal for a decent lead. However, the Vikes took the lead with QB Brad Johnson's 17-yard TD pass to WR Marcus Robinson. In the third quarter, more of the Cardinals' year-long ineffectiveness showed as Johnson completed a 9-yard TD pass to WR Billy McMullen, while kicker Ryan Longwell nailed a 40-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, Minnesota improved its lead on Johnson's 3-yard TD pass to FB Jeff Dugan. Afterwards, Arizona tried to fight back as Strong Safety Adrian Wilson returned a fumble 99 yards for a touchdown, yet it was followed up by a failed two-point conversion. Afterwards, QB Matt Leinart completed a 9-yard TD pass to WR Anquan Boldin. Afterwards, the Vikings wrapped up the game and won. With the loss, the Cardinals fell to 2-9.

The Cards visited the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis (the team's former home) to take on the Rams. The Cardinals won by a score of 34-20. QB Matt Leinart was 15-for-24 for 186 yards and one touchdown; RB Edgerrin James' had his 50th career 100-yard rushing game, and RB Marcel Shipp scored three touchdowns. The Cardinals moved up to 3-9 and they finally managed to acquire their very first road win of the season.

Coming of their road win over the Rams, the Cardinals went home for an NFC West rematch with the Seattle Seahawks. In the first quarter, the Cards drew first blood with QB Matt Leinart completing a 56-yard TD pass to WR Bryant Johnson, while RB Edgerrin James (who ran for 115 yards on the day) got a 7-yard TD run. The Seahawks would respond with QB Matt Hasselbeck's 23-yard TD pass to WR D.J. Hackett. In the second quarter, the Big Red increased its lead with kicker Neil Rackers getting a 32-yard field goal, yet Seattle responded with Hasselbeck's 5-yard TD pass to WR Nate Burleson. In the third quarter, Arizona temporarily lost the lead as Hasselbeck completed a 2-yard TD pass to WR Darrell Jackson for the only score of the period. Fortunately, in the fourth quarter, Arizona reclaimed the lead and won with Leinart's 5-yard TD pass to WR Larry Fitzgerald and Rackers' 40-yard field goal. With the upset win, the Cardinals improved to 4-9.

Trying to snap a four-game losing skid, the Broncos flew to the University of Phoenix Stadium for a Week 15 interconference fight with the Arizona Cardinals. The last time these two teams met each other, Denver won 37-7 at Invesco Field at Mile High on December 29, 2002. This time, it was a battle of rookie quarterbacks as Matt Leinart went up against Jay Cutler.

In the first quarter, the Cardinals trailed early as Cutler completed a 54-yard TD pass to WR Javon Walker and kicker Jason Elam nailed a 30-yard field goal. In the second quarter, Arizona trailed even further with Elam's 22-yard field goal. The Cardinals would finally score as kicker Neil Rackers nailed a 49-yard field goal and DE Antonio Smith returned a fumble 4 yards for a touchdown. However, Denver managed to get one last field goal before halftime as Elam kicked a 30-yard field goal. In the third quarter, more struggles continued as Cutler completed a 10-yard TD pass to WR Rod Smith. Arizona would respond with Rackers kicking a 38-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, the Broncos continued their pounding on the Cards with RB Mike Bell's 1-yard TD run. Even though the Cardinals got a 4-yard TD run by RB Edgerrin James, Denver wrapped up Cutler's first NFL win with another 1-yard TD run by Mike Bell. With their fifth-straighth loss, Arizona fell to 4-10.

Hoping to rebound from their home loss to the Broncos, the Cardinals flew to Monster Park for an NFC West rematch with the San Francisco 49ers. In the first quarter, the 49ers struck first with kicker Joe Nedney nailing a 49-yard field goal. Afterwards, the Cards took the lead with kicker Neil Rackers getting a 25-yard field goal and RB Marcel Shipp getting a 5-yard TD run. In the second quarter, Arizona increased its lead with rookie QB Matt Leinart completing a 6-yard TD pass to WR Larry Fitzgerald, while Rackers kicked a 39-yard field goal. Afterwards, San Francisco responded with Nedney kicking a 32-yard field goal. In the third quarter, the 49ers started to retaliate with RB Frank Gore getting a 2-yard TD run for the only score of the period. In the fourth quarter, the Cards increased its lead with Rackers kicking a 37-yard and a 32-yard field goal. Even though the Niners would get another score as Gore managed to get a 1-yard TD run, Arizona held on to sweep San Francisco. With the win, the Cardinals improved to 5-10.

Trying to end their lackluster season on a high note, the Cardinals played their last game of the year at Qualcomm Stadium against the playoff-bound San Diego Chargers. In the first quarter, Arizona struck first with RB Edgerrin James getting an 8-yard TD run, yet the Chargers managed to get a 47-yard field goal from kicker Nate Kaeding. In the second quarter, the Cards' year-long ineffectiveness continued to show as QB Philip Rivers completed a 33-yard TD pass to TE Antonio Gates and a 14-yard TD pass to WR Vincent Jackson. In the third quarter, San Diego wrapped up the game with LB Tim Dobbins recovering a fumble the Cardinals' endzone for a touchdown, while Kaeding kicked a 35-yard field goal. Afterwards, Arizona tried to make a comeback and it started with kicker Neil Rackers getting a 28-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, the Cards continued with their attempt at a comeback as QB Kurt Warner completed a 9-yard TD pass to WR Larry Fitzgerald and a 20-yard field goal by Rackers. However, their comeback fell short. With the loss, the Cardinals ended their season at 5-11.

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Source : Wikipedia