The 5: Arizona Cardinals’ most recent Monday Night Football matchups
Monday Night Football in Mexico City? What could make for a better backdrop for the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers?
There’s a ton on the line, too.
The Niners (5-4) began this week a half-game behind the NFC West-leading Seattle Seahawks (6-4), while the Cardinals (4-6) came into the Week 11 game in third place after beating the struggling Los Angeles Rams (3-6).
Arizona has done decently well in the Monday spotlight in recent years — if we take away the last two meetings that both came last season against a divisional opponent.
Jan. 17, 2022 – Rams 34, Cardinals 11
Hate to bring up the bad memory, Cardinals fans, but Arizona’s NFC Wild Card flameout last season happened to come on a Monday.
The setup: Arizona had started 8-1 on the year but lost four of five down the stretch of the season to close at 11-6.
It made for a road game in Los Angeles, and the Cardinals were not exactly ready.
The offense went three-and-out on the first four drives, and the Rams scored two offensive touchdowns before Arizona’s fifth possession saw quarterback Kyler Murray throw a pick-six three yards out of his own end zone.
Los Angeles eventually would lead 28-0 in the third quarter.
The Cardinals hardly got a boost with J.J. Watt making his comeback from an injury that tore up several things in his shoulder. Worse yet, they saw their heart-and-soul, Budda Baker, leave on a stretcher in the second half.
Dec. 13, 2021 – Rams 30, Cardinals 23
The Cardinals had high hopes after dismantling Los Angeles 37-20 on the road in Week 4. Arizona was riding a 10-2 record and controlled its own destiny for the division crown, however the 8-4 Rams saw a chance to regain ground in the race and took home a 30-23 win.
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 287 yards and three touchdowns while outplaying Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray who threw for 383 yards but no touchdowns and two interceptions.
Arizona took a tie ball game into half but did not have an answer for Rams receiver Cooper Kupp who finished with 13 receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown.
The Cardinals offense, which kept the Los Angeles defense guessing in the first victory, could not get much going in the run game behind 42 combined rushing yards from running back James Conner and wide receiver Rondale Moore. Conner did finish with two rushing touchdowns, both from the 1-yard-line.
Arizona had a chance to tie it after recovering an onside kick in the fourth quarter but could not convert after a sack from All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald ran the clock out.
Receiver A.J. Green had one of his best games as a Cardinal, hauling in seven catches for 102 yards while safety Jalen Thompson led the team with nine tackles.
Oct. 19, 2020 – Cardinals 38, Cowboys 10
The Cardinals and their fans had been deprived from a Monday night game since 2017.
That all changed in 2020, however, with the Cardinals taking on Cowboys in Dallas. It was a joyous one for Arizona fans, who watched as their team moved to 4-2 with a 38-10 victory.
It was an absolute blood bath from the start, with quarterback Kyler Murray and wide receiver Christian Kirk leading the way offensively.
While he completed just nine of his 24 passing attempts, Murray found Kirk on two occasions for touchdowns, one being an 80-yard bomb.
The signal caller also got it done with his feet, chipping in 74 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.
Handling the bulk of the carries that day was running back Kenyan Drake, who paced all backs with 164 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.
Defensively, safety Budda Baker and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick got the better of Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton, each recording an interception in the win. Adding to the chaos was linebacker Haason Reddick, who turned in a two-sack day. Baker also registered a sack.
9/25/17 – Cowboys 28, Cardinals 17
The Cardinals’ fourth straight year on MNF came against the Dallas Cowboys in 2017.
Unlike the last three appearances, the Cardinals were on the losing end in this one, falling 28-17 at home. The loss moved the team to 1-2 on the season.
Despite Larry Fitzgerald’s big night of 13 catches for 149 yards and a score, Arizona couldn’t match Dallas’ balanced attack.
The duo of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott proved too much for the Cardinals defense. Prescott finished the evening with 183 yards and two touchdowns on 13-of-18 passing, while Elliott contributed 80 yards and a score on 22 carries.
Palmer held the advantage over Prescott, recording 325 yards and two touchdowns, but the Cardinals’ running game lacked mightily with Andre Ellington’s 22 yards being the team high.
Brice Butler, who was a member of the Cardinals for a handful of months in the 2018 offseason, caught two passes for 90 yards and a touchdown.
Arizona safety Tyvon Branch turned in 12 tackles in the loss, while linebacker Chandler Jones recorded a sack.
10/17/16 – Cardinals 28, New York Jets 3
Monday Night Football was the David Johnson Show for an October night in 2016.
Earning back-to-back wins to get back to .500, the Cardinals knocked off the New York Jets 28-3 behind the legs of Johnson.
The running back torched the opposition for 111 yards and three scores, including a 58-yard scamper, on 22 carries (5.0 yards per attempt). He also added 27 more yards on three catches.
It was an impressive showing for Johnson, who faced a Jets defense that was second in the NFL in rushing yards per game allowed.
Adding to the scoring was Palmer, who connected with Floyd for a touchdown. Palmer finished with 213 yards on 23-of-34 passing to go along with the score.
It was a rough night for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets, who turned to Geno Smith in the third quarter after a dismal offensive showing. It didn’t help, as Mathieu intercepted Smith during his lone series at QB. Arizona safety D.J. Swearinger also came down with a pick in the victory.