Cardinals’ loss to Rams brings new mark for home futility

Dec 24, 2018, 9:18 AM | Updated: 11:39 am

An Arizona Cardinals fan holds a sign prior to an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, S...

An Arizona Cardinals fan holds a sign prior to an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Longtime fans of the Arizona Cardinals have suffered through some bad football at both venues the team has called home since 1988.

Faithful fans who showed up to all eight home tilts in 2018 experienced something even the diehards at Sun Devil Stadium never did — a 1-7 record.

Sunday’s 31-9 loss to the Los Angeles Rams sunk the Cardinals to these new home depths. Squads in 1989 and 1991 both went 2-6 in front of the home crowd. The previous mark for futility in State Farm Stadium — a 3-5 record — came in the venue’s first year of existence, 2006.

To put things in some perspective when talking about “protecting the nest,” the Cardinals lost only five games at home over a three-year stretch from 2013 to 2015.

Fans aren’t used to seeing what they saw this season.

“It’s a big disappointment, because we have great fans,” embattled head coach Steve Wilks said Sunday. “Our fans are extremely important in the things we want to portray and represent and give to them, and I take full responsibility for the letdown this year.

“It’s unacceptable.”

Most fans would agree with the “unacceptable” label. The tone was set in Week 1 when the Wilks era began with a thud — a 24-6 loss to the Washington Redskins. Other low marks in Glendale included a 35-point embarrassment at the hands of the Denver Broncos in the team’s only nationally-televised game of the year, a last-second loss to the lowly Oakland Raiders, a punchless performance in 14-point loss to middling Detroit and Sunday’s effort against the Rams.

The average margin of defeat on home turf for the Cardinals was a whopping 13.7 points.

“It’s been really difficult and really frustrating,” wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. “This has always been a place that we play well in historically, and to not play well here all season has been disturbing.”

Even with this year’s struggles on their home field, the Cardinals own a 62-41-1 regular-season record at State Farm Stadium.

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