Arizona Cardinals

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Posted by motoman 03/13/2009 @ 09:07

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Contract Years Loom for Cardinal Players - Fighting Irish Insider
By Brad Wilbricht Several Arizona Cardinals are currently prepping for what they hope to be a successful contract year. While the majority of the players hope their hard work is rewarded with a long-term deal with the Cardinals, the business aspect of...
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Will Davis and His Future With the Arizona Cardinals - Revenge of the Birds
by Hawkwind on May 19, 2009 1:55 PM MDT in 2009 Draft 1 comment The Arizona Cardinals, for the second year in a row, used their sixth round pick in the NFL draft to select a defensive end with the idea of moving him to outside linebacker....
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This move leaves the Cardinals with around 6.2 in cap space. Arizona will make their bid for the 2013 Super Bowl today. Other cities who are expected to make a pitch are Miami and New Orleans. Mike Sando takes a look at the undrafted starters in the...
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by Matt Miselis (Analyst) The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Arizona Cardinals to become the first franchise in the leagues history to win six Super Bowl Championships. An accomplishment no one can say they have achieved, the Steelers fought through...
NFL: Vick will be monitored closely - Salt Lake Tribune
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AZ Cardinals 2009 Outlook: Longtime Doormat Faces Many New Challenges - Bleacher Report
by Jordan Jurkowitz (Contributor) Prior to 2008, anyone who even thought of suggesting out loud that the Arizona Cardinals could ever make a Super Bowl appearance would have been greeted with the same response as someone suggesting that the United...
Pondering the Future of An-Kwan Boldin and the Arizona Cardinals - Bleacher Report
by David Xaviel (Scribe) Recently, the Philadelphia Eagles made an offer to the Arizona Cardinals for Anquan Boldin, and I must say: Why are the Cardinals still trying to trade him? This franchise had wallowed mostly in mediocrity since the end of the...
Report: Eagles Offered Sheldon Brown for Anquan Boldin - FanHouse
If these reports are accurate, it doesn't appear the Arizona Cardinals were able to drum up much serious interest in disgruntled receiver Anquan Boldin in advance of the draft. The Bears apparently offered a second-round pick, and according to Kent...

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals helmet

The Arizona Cardinals are a professional American Football team based in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals are members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The Cardinals were founded in 1898, and are the oldest continuously run professional American football club in the United States.

The team was established in Chicago in 1898 and was a charter member of the NFL in 1920. The club moved to St. Louis, Missouri in 1960 and played in that city through 1987. Before the 1988 NFL season, the team moved to Tempe, Arizona, an eastern suburb of Phoenix, and played their home games for the next 18 years at Arizona State University's Sun Devil Stadium. In 2006 the club began playing all home games at the newly constructed University of Phoenix Stadium in the northwestern suburb of Glendale.

The franchise's lone NFL championship game victory came in 1947 while they were based in Chicago, and came two decades before the first Super Bowl game was ever played. The club's other NFL championship occurred in 1925, eight years before the league began holding a championship game, and is a controversial title to this day. The much contested title was believed to belong to the Pottsville Maroons but was given to the Cardinals instead in what is called the 1925 NFL Championship controversy. In the six-plus decades since winning the championship in 1947, the Cardinals have qualified for the playoffs only six times and has won only five playoff games, three of which were achieved during their run in the 2008-09 NFL Playoffs in which they reached Super Bowl XLIII.

The Cardinals are the oldest professional American football club in the United States. The team now known as the Arizona Cardinals was originally formed in 1898 as the Morgan Athletic Club in Chicago. The club's name changed to the Racine Normals, because they were originally located in Normal Park on Chicago's Racine Avenue (not Racine, Wisconsin, as mistaken in the notes from an early APFA meeting). Their name was changed to the Racine Cardinals after the club started wearing dark reddish uniforms inherited from the collegiate Chicago Maroons.

After becoming a charter member of the NFL in 1920, the club was renamed the Chicago Cardinals, in part to distinguish them from a new franchise in Racine, Wisconsin. In 1944, during manpower shortages caused by World War II, the Cardinals merged with the Pittsburgh Steelers, called Card-Pitt in the standings, for that single season.

The Cardinals moved to St. Louis, Missouri in 1960, becoming the St. Louis Cardinals. The club was sometimes called "The Football Cardinals" or "Big Red" to distinguish them from the baseball team, and were also called "The Cardiac Cards" during brushes with success in the 1970s.

After an unsuccessful campaign for a new football-only stadium in St. Louis, the club relocated to the Phoenix metropolitan area in 1988, first playing at Sun Devil Stadium on the campus of Arizona State University in the suburb of Tempe. The team was known as the Phoenix Cardinals before it switched to using "Arizona" in its name in 1994.

Despite moving to St. Louis and then to Arizona, for decades the Cardinals remained in either an Eastern conference or division. When the league was divided into Eastern and Western conferences prior to the 1953 season, the Cardinals were placed in the East while the Chicago Bears were placed in the West. After the 1970 AFL-NFL Merger, the team was placed in the NFC East. The Cardinals were finally moved to the NFC West, despite the club's objection, as part of the 2002 realignment.

Despite being the oldest existing professional football franchise in the United States, the Cardinals have a remarkably lean postseason history. They were NFL Champions in 1925 and 1947 and prior to 2008 they had last played for the NFL title in 1948. Following the advent of the Super Bowl, the team had not played in the championship game until the 2008 season, and thus currently holds the NFL record for the longest championship drought. The team has also won only three division titles (1974, 1975, and 2008) since their 1947-1948 NFL championship game appearances. In addition, the club in 2008 became the last NFC team since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to reach the Conference Championship Game. The team's futility has also been attributed to a sports-related curse placed onto the team because their 1925 title was the result of a disputed, controversial ruling by the NFL. (See 1925 NFL Championship controversy for more details).

The Cardinals conduct their annual summer training camp at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

The Cardinals began as an amateur athletic club team in Chicago named the Morgan Athletic Club, which was founded by Chicago painter/builder Chris O'Brien in 1898. Early in the 20th century (by 1913), the team turned professional.

O'Brien later moved them to Chicago's Normal Park and renamed them the Racine Normals, since Normal Park was located on Racine Avenue in Chicago. In 1901, O'Brien bought used maroon uniforms from the University of Chicago, the colors of which had by then faded, leading O'Brien to exclaim, "That's not maroon, it's cardinal red!" It was then that the team changed its name to the Racine Cardinals.

The team disbanded in 1906 mostly for lack of local competition, but reformed in 1913. They were forced to suspend operations for a second time in 1918 because of World War I and the outbreak of the Spanish Flu Pandemic. They resumed operations later in the year, and have since operated continuously.

In 1920, the team became a charter member of the American Professional Football Association (which became the NFL in 1922), for a franchise fee of $100USD. The Cardinals and the Bears (originally founded as the Decatur Staleys before moving to Chicago in 1921) are the only charter members of the NFL still in existence, though the Green Bay Packers, who joined the league in 1921, existed prior to the formation of the NFL. The person keeping the minutes of the first league meeting, unfamiliar with the nuances of Chicago football, recorded the Cardinals as Racine, Wisconsin. The team was renamed the Chicago Cardinals in 1922, after the NFL placed a team in the Wisconsin city. That season the Cardinals moved to Comiskey Park.

The Cardinals posted a winning record only twice in the twenty years (1931 and 1935) after their championship—including 10 straight losing seasons from 1936 to 1945.

Dr. David Jones bought the team from O'Brien in 1929. In 1932 the team was purchased by Charles Bidwill, then a vice president of the Chicago Bears. The team has been under the ownership of the Bidwill family since then.

In 1942 on October 25 the Cardinals would lose their first of 29 straight games against the Cleveland Rams, finishing out their season with a 3-8 record, losing their last 6 games. In 1943 the Cardinals would record their first of two winless seasons going 0-10 in both the 1943 and 1944 seasons. In 1944, owing to player shortages caused by World War II, the Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers merged for one year and were known as the "Card-Pitt", or derisively as the "Carpets". In 1945 after losing their first three games, the Cardinals would end their 29 game losing streak by winning against the Chicago Bears on October 14 in almost 4 years of futility, while finishing their season with a 1-9 record.

The Cardinals won their last NFL championship game in 1947 (28–21 over the Philadelphia Eagles) with their "Million-Dollar Backfield", which included quarterback Paul Christman, halfback Charley Trippi, halfback Elmer Angsman, and fullback Pat Harder, piling up 282 rushing yards. It was the franchise's first home playoff game, but Bidwill was not around to see it; he'd died before the season, leaving the team to his wife Violet. He had, however, beaten the Chicago Rockets of the upstart All-America Football Conference for the rights to Trippi. This signing is generally acknowledged as the final piece in the championship puzzle. They advanced to the championship game the next season, but lost 7-0 in a rematch with the Eagles, played in a heavy snowstorm that almost completely obscured the field. The next year, Violet Bidwill married St. Louis businessman Walter Wolfner.

The 1950s were dismal for the team, with only 33 victories for the decade. Most years found the Cardinals in last place and in their best year of the decade (1956), they finished second with a 7-5 record. Following the 1958 season, they traded their star running back Ollie Matson to the Los Angeles Rams for an unprecedented nine players, but this did little to improve the Cardinals. The team's poor performances, coupled with the near-mythic status of the crosstown Bears, resulted in a decline in attendance and revenue.

The 1959 season, the Cardinals last in Chicago, saw the team decline to a 2-10 record. They left their long-time Comiskey Park home to play four games at Soldier Field on Chicago's lakefront plus two "neutral site" games in Minneapolis. That did not improve attendance as Bidwill started looking elsewhere to move her team.

Eventually, the Bidwills engineered a deal with the NFL which sent the Cardinals to St. Louis beginning with the 1960 season, a move which also blocked St. Louis as a market against the emerging American Football League.

Coincidentally, St. Louis already had a baseball team called the "Cardinals". The established National League team eventually decided against pressing a formal objection to another sports team in the city using the same name. Sports fans and local news broadcasters called the team "The St. Louis Football Cardinals" or "The Big Red" to distinguish the two teams.

The new "St. Louis Football Cardinals" were much improved, and the team was competitive for much of the 1960s. New stars emerged, such as Larry Wilson, Charley Johnson, Jim Bakken, Sonny Randle, and Jim Hart. However, in an era when only two or four teams qualified for the NFL playoffs, the Cardinals' playoff drought continued, though the team did advance to the Playoff Bowl in 1964.

Violet Bidwill Wolfner died in 1962, and her sons, Bill and Charles, Jr. took control. Bill Bidwill became sole owner in 1972 and still owns the team today. Only the New York Giants and Chicago Bears have been in the hands of one family longer than the Cardinals.

In 1973, Don Coryell became head coach and the Cardinals registered a 7-0 record to open the 1974 season. They won the NFC East then and in 1975, losing in the divisional playoffs both times. During this period, the Cardinals boasted an effective offense in the wake of a record-setting offensive line which included standouts Dan Dierdorf, Conrad Dobler, and Tom Banks.

This period for the franchise was characterized by exciting close games, come-from-behind nailbiters, and several frustrating near-misses. The press and league fans began to call the team the "Cardiac Cardinals". Team stars from the 1970s included Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback Roger Wehrli, wide receiver Mel Gray, and running backs Terry Metcalf and Jim Otis.

The Cardinals experienced several years of notoriously poor drafts and unfortunate personnel moves in the late 1970s, typified by the first-round selection of kicker Steve Little and hiring of college coaching legend Bud Wilkinson in 1978. However, the Cardinals had some success in the early 1980s, posting three consecutive winning seasons from 1982 to 1984. The heart of this squad was the prolific trio of quarterback Neil Lomax, wide receiver Roy Green, and running back Ottis Anderson.

In 1987, the team's last in St. Louis, on November 8, the Cardinals had the 12th greatest comebacks in NFL history when trailing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28-3, the Cardinals scored 28 unanswered points in the 4th quarter to win the game 31-28.

During the Cardinals' 28-year stay in St. Louis, they advanced to the playoffs just three times (1974, 1975, 1982), never hosting or winning in any appearance. The team left St. Louis before the 1988 season, after Bidwill was unable to convince the city to build a new stadium.

In 1988, the Cardinals moved to Arizona, and the Phoenix Cardinals started playing home games in Sun Devil Stadium on the campus of Arizona State University. Before the 1994 season, in order to better market the franchise to a statewide fan base, the name of the team was changed to the Arizona Cardinals.

The Cardinals spent most of their first decade in Arizona as a cellar-dweller. In 1996, the team served as the backdrop for a popular romantic comedy, Jerry Maguire. The team's record of futility figured prominently in the screenplay by Cameron Crowe: the eponymous hero is a struggling sports agent whose only client is a flamboyant Cardinals wide receiver. Cuba Gooding, Jr. won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of the fictional Cardinal wide receiver Rod Tidwell.

Things began to look up during the 1998 season as Jake Plummer enjoyed his greatest stretch of success during his tenure with the franchise, in terms of victories at least, as his quarterback rating was still an average 75.0. The team during that time had once again been dubbed the Cardiac Cards by the local and national media as eight of their 16 regular-season games were decided by three points or less, and seven of those games ended in favor of the Cardinals. With a 6-7 record going into the 15th week, the team won 3 straight games to clinch a playoff spot, including one overtime win, with a total margin of those 3 victories a mere 8 points.

This and the fact that none of their victories had been against teams with winning records made them heavy underdogs going into their Wild Card Playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys. Considering their two regular season losses to the Cowboys and the fact that they had been on the losing end of 16 of the last 17 games against their division rivals, including 9 straight losses at Texas Stadium, the "Team of the Nineties" seemed to have history, among other forces, on their side. To further the situation, the Cardinals franchise had not won a single playoff game since their title year of 1947, resulting in the longest active drought in professional sports history.

The Cardinals won the game 20–7; however, the final score made the game appear closer than it actually was, as Arizona dominated the Cowboys on both ends of the football throughout the game. At Texas Stadium that afternoon, the Cardinals jumped out to a 10-0 halftime lead. The Cardinals would later increase that lead to 20-0 in the final minutes of the 4th quarter. The Cowboys' only score was a touchdown late in the 4th quarter, and the Cardinals held on for the upset. The Cardinals, who had suffered for 51 years as the NFL's doormat, finally had a playoff win. However, the distinction was short lived as the Cardinals fell in the divisional round of the playoffs to the Minnesota Vikings who possessed a 15-1 record as well as the highest-scoring offense in NFL history, a record which was broken by the 2007 New England Patriots. The Vikings won the game 41-21 in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis.

The Cardinals had no winning seasons after this playoff appearance until 2008. Coming off their playoff run in 1998, the Cardinals were expected to do bigger and better things in 1999, but a tough schedule ranked in the top 5 as well as key injuries resulted in what would be another disappointing season, getting off to a 2–6 start. However, the Cards would make another run winning 4 straight to get back into the playoff chase, but it was not meant to be as Arizona lost their last 4 to finish with a disappointing 6–10 record. The team finished with 5–11 records in 2005 and 2006.

In 2000, Maricopa County voters passed a ballot initiative by a margin of 51% to 49%, providing funding for a new Cardinals stadium (as well as for improvements to Major League Baseball spring training facilities in the greater Phoenix region; and youth recreation). After some legal obstacles, the Cardinals began construction of their new facility in April 2003, in Glendale, one of the western suburbs of Phoenix. University of Phoenix Stadium features a retractable roof and a slide-out grass surface, which is good for the hot desert weather; the new stadium has a state-of-the-art air-conditioning system and high-back seats.

In 2002, the NFL realignment moved the Cardinals to the more geographically correct NFC West. Their current division rivals are the St. Louis Rams (the Cardinals' first trip to St. Louis since the realignment was a nationally televised game on ESPN), San Francisco 49ers, and the Seattle Seahawks.

The 2006 season was one that gave many Cards fans optimism as the team drafted highly touted quarterback Matt Leinart and signed free agent running back Edgerrin James. However the lofty expectations were not to be as the team was plagued with inconsistency as the Cards struggled out of the gate with a record of 1-8. A notable low point of the season was in a home game against the Chicago Bears, the Cards squandered a 20 point lead to lose the game 24-23. The game was notable for coach Dennis Green's post-game conference outburst in which he made the now famous line "They are who we thought they were!". The Cards went 4-3 down the stretch to finish the season at 5-11, but it wasn't enough to save Green's job, as he was fired at season's end.

In 2007, the Arizona Cardinals announced the firing of coach Dennis Green. The leading candidate to coach the Cardinals after the firing was Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt. He was hired on January 14, 2007, with a contract of $2.5 million annually for four years. The Cardinals started their first 10 games at 5–5, and ended the season at 8–8, barely missing the playoffs in Whisenhunts first season as head coach. In 2008, the Cardinals started out with one of the best offenses in the league, led by former NFL MVP quarterback Kurt Warner and wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. The Cardinals' decision to approach the 2008 season with Kurt Warner at quarterback instead of Leinart drew criticism, but majorly contributed to their qualifying for the playoffs that year, with Warner passing for 4,583 yards and 30 touchdowns.. At the halfway point of the season, the Cardinals led their division, for the first time since 1998, with a record of 7–3.

On December 7, 2008, the Cardinals won the NFC West Division by beating the St. Louis Rams 34–10. In the process, they clinched their first playoff berth since 1998, and their first division title since 1975 (and third of the post-merger era). However, they proceeded to lose two of their last three regular season games, to the Minnesota Vikings and the New England Patriots, in blowout losses.

On January 3, 2009, the Cardinals won their first playoff game since 1998 and their second since moving to Arizona by beating the Atlanta Falcons 30–24. This was also the first time they had won a post-season game at home since their 1947 league championship game. In fact, the Cardinals never hosted a playoff game in St. Louis despite winning two division titles.

On January 10, 2009, the Cardinals, as 10-point road underdogs, won their second playoff game since 1998 and their third since moving to Arizona, by beating the Carolina Panthers 33–13. The defense was a major part of this victory, forcing 6 turnovers and holding the Panthers much praised running duo of Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams to 73 yards on the ground.

After the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New York Giants, the Cardinals hosted their first NFC Championship game in Arizona. There they defeated the Eagles 32–25 and won the first NFC Championship game in team history, but lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII 27–23.

The team has used the cardinal red jerseys since Chris O'Brien bought them for the club in 1901. And for most of its history, the Cardinals have used the same basic uniform design of white helmets, white pants with red stripes on the sides, and either red or white jerseys.

Starting in 1947, the team had a logo of a cardinal bird perched on the stitches of a football. However, the club did not attach a logo to their helmets until they debuted a cardinal-head logo in 1960, the year the franchise moved from Chicago to St. Louis. When the Cardinals moved to Arizona in 1988, the flag of Arizona was added to the sleeves. And in 1990, the team began wearing red pants with their white jerseys.

In 2005, the team unveiled its first major changes in a century. The cardinal-head logo was updated to be sleeker and more menacing than its predecessor, which had been derisively called a "parakeet." Black was added as an accent color, while trim lines were added to the outside shoulders and sleeves, and the sides of the jerseys and pants. Both the red and white jerseys have the option of red or white pants.

Hoping to break a six-game losing streak, the Cardinals wore the red pants for the first time on October 29, 2006 in a game at Lambeau Field against the Green Bay Packers. The Packers won 31-14, and the Cards headed into their bye week with a 1-7 mark. Following their bye week, the Cardinals came out in their all-red combination at home against the Dallas Cowboys and lost, 27-10. Arizona did not wear the red pants since that loss to the Cowboys, and managed to win four of their last seven games. However, the following season, in 2007, the Cardinals again wore their red pants for some of their games. They wore red pants with their white jersey in games on the road at the Cincinnati Bengals and Seattle Seahawks. They paired red pants with the red jersey, wearing the all-red combination for home games against the Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, and St. Louis Rams. In 2008, the red pants have not been worn.

In the Madden NFL video game series, the Cardinals were outfitted in the all-red combination at home and the all-white combination on the road. In some versions of game, the red jersey-white pants and white jersey-red pants combinations appear as alternates.

For their first 18 years in Arizona, the Cardinals, like many other NFL teams in warm climates, wore their white jerseys at home during the first half of the season—forcing opponents to suffer in their darker-colored jerseys during Arizona autumns that frequently see temperatures over 100 °F (38 °C). However, this tradition did not continue when the Cardinals moved from Sun Devil Stadium to University of Phoenix Stadium in 2006, as early-season games (and other day home games not in the early portion of the season where the temperature outside the stadium is still very warm) are played with the roof closed (except for home games with the temperature outside the stadium at a more comfortable level along with night games excluding preseason). With the temperature inside at a comfortable 70 °F (21 °C), Green opted to have the Cardinals wear their red jerseys at home full-time. In 2008, the Cardinals did wear their white jersey at home though, for the first time in University of Phoenix Stadium on August 29, 2008 in a preseason game against the Denver Broncos.

Although the team does sell its previous team colored jersey as an alternate "fashion jersey" and even has it listed as the team's "alternate jersey", the team has yet to wear them in a game as a third jersey since retiring the jersey in 2005.Also they sold a black alternate jersey.

Wilson, Dierdorf, Smith, Conrad Dobler (66, G), Jim Hart (17, QB), and Jim Hanifan (head coach) have been inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.

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' flagship radio station was KMVP, "ESPN Radio 860." KMVP assumed the broadcast rights in 2006 after many years on KSLX-FM and KDUS. Dave Pasch, Ron Wolfley, and Paul Calvisi handle the radio broadcast. Most preseason games are televised on KNXV, channel 15, the local ABC affiliate. Mike Goldberg and Bill Lewis are the TV announcers.

On New Year's Day 2007, KMVP began a simulcast of KTAR, which switched to an all-sports format (the news/talk station became 92.3, KTAR-FM). For the 2007 season, KTAR was the official flagship station; however, some broadcasts were also be heard on 92.3 FM because of conflicts with Arizona Diamondbacks baseball games on 620 AM.

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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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2004 Arizona Cardinals season

The 2004 Arizona Cardinals season was the 85th season the team was in the National Football League. The team managed to improve upon their previous output of 4-12. However, the team failed to make the playoffs for the sixth straight season.

On April 22, 2004, former Cardinals safety Pat Tillman was killed in a friendly fire incident while on patrol. The specific details of his death and its aftermath are currently being investigated by the US Congress. Tillman was the first professional football player to be killed in combat since the death of Bob Kalsu of the Buffalo Bills, who died in the Vietnam War in 1970. Tillman was posthumously laterally promoted from Specialist to Corporal. He also received posthumous Silver Star and Purple Heart medals. On Sunday, September 19, 2004, all teams of the NFL wore a memorial decal on their helmets in honor of Pat Tillman. The Arizona Cardinals continued to wear this decal throughout the 2004 season.

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Source : Wikipedia