Of the 18 games the Arizona Cardinals played in the 2015 season, 10 were decided by a double-digit margin.
Whether the Cardinals won those matchups or not (they won eight of them, by the way), you’d be hard pressed to say any of them were great football games.
But rest assured, they played in some doozies.
In fact, according to Sports Illustrated’s Bette Marston and Eric Single, Arizona played in two of the 10 best games of the entire 2015 NFL season.
The first one mentioned is the Divisional Round victory over the Green Bay Packers.
Cardinals 26, Packers 20 (OT)
Can you think of a five minute span in football that compares to the ending we saw in the Packers-Cardinals NFC divisional round matchup? From the fourth-and-20 completion that led to the Packers’ Hail Mary—both to Jeff Janis—to the coin that didn’t flip and Larry Fitzgerald’s incredible 75-yard reception which led to his shovel-pass game-winning touchdown, this game simply had the most mindblowing end of any matchup this season. And the cherry on top was that beloved veteran Fitzgerald emerged as Arizona’s hero that night. —Bette Marston
That game, really did have everything you could ask for. Big plays, lucky plays, crazy plays and more big plays. The game ended up being the highest-rated primetime Saturday Divisional Playoff game ever, and it is one that people will undoubtedly talk about for years to come.
The other Cardinals game listed by the SI duo was their Week 10 victory in Seattle over the Seahawks.
Cardinals 39, Seahawks 32
This game gets high marks for its seesaw momentum shifts—both teams enjoyed separate runs of 19 unanswered points lasting fewer than 10 minutes of game time. It also gets high marks for the way neither side of the marquee matchup backed down: The Seahawks’ defense kept forcing Carson Palmer turnovers over at key times, and Carson Palmer kept slinging the ball around the field. It gets high marks for the deciding touchdown coming on a draw play, of all things. But more than anything, this game makes the list because of Drew Stanton’s endearingly goofy sideline celebration, which provided the runaway NFL Vine of the Year and the purest expression of joy we could have ever hoped to glimpse in the corner of the screen as Andre Ellington tightroped to pay dirt. —ES
In case you wanted to see Stanton’s dance one more time, just click this link here and enjoy.
Besides Stanton’s dance and Carson Palmer’s…umm…gesture, the win in Seattle also served notice that the Cardinals were indeed the team to beat in the NFC West. It also propelled Palmer firmly into the MVP conversation, as he showed a level of toughness and resiliency some did not think he possessed.
While the Cardinals’ season did not end the way anyone wanted it to, given time to look back on what transpired, it will be tough to say they were not, at the very least, entertaining.
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