The 5: The Cardinals’ most recent Monday Night Football appearances
Monday Night Football, the perfect bookend to any NFL week.
The Arizona Cardinals and their fans have been deprived from a Monday night game since 2017. That all changes this season, however, with the franchise taking on the Dallas Cowboys, a rematch of the franchise’s first-ever MNF action back in 1988, on Oct. 19 (Week 6).
Since that 17-14 loss to the Cowboys in the Cardinals’ first game after relocating from St. Louis, Arizona has managed to win four of its 12 matchups over the years. Monday marks the two squads’ 12th primetime meeting — seven have come on Monday and four on Sunday night.
Here’s a look at Arizona’s five most recent Monday Night Football appearances:
10/29/12 – 49ers 24, Cardinals 3
Cardinals quarterback John Skelton made his second start after Kevin Kolb went down with a rib injury back in 2012. The QB struggled to hit his marks, completing 32 of 52 passes for 290 yards, an interception and no touchdowns.
Adding to the Cardinals’ woes was the rushing attack, which turned in just seven yards on nine carries. Andre Roberts led all receivers with 65 yards on seven catches. Jay Feely registered the only points for the Cardinals with a 28-yard field goal.
On defense, end Calais Campbell and linebacker Daryl Washington combined for 3.0 sacks and 12 tackles.
On the other side was the San Francisco 49ers and a nearly perfect Alex Smith.
Smith completed all but one of his 19 throws for 232 yards and three scores, tossing two to Michael Crabtree.
9/8/2014 – Cardinals 18, San Diego Chargers 17
Two years after their lopsided loss to an NFC West foe, the Cardinals got their chance at MNF redemption at home against the then-San Diego Chargers in Week 1.
Behind the arm of Carson Palmer, head coach Bruce Arians and Arizona managed to pull off an 18-17 comeback win over Philip Rivers and San Diego.
Palmer completed 24 of 37 passes for 304 yards and two scores. It marked a memorable night for then-Cardinals rookie WR John Brown, who reeled in the first touchdown of his career. Michael Floyd led all pass catchers in receptions (5) and yards (115).
Arizona trailed 17-6 through three quarters until Palmer cut the lead to 17-12 with a five-yard score to Stepfan Taylor.
The Cardinals followed that score up with a long 91-yard drive that ended with Brown’s score.
Cornerback Jerraud Powers provided the final blow, intercepting Rivers with 16 seconds left to play at Arizona’s 44-yard line.
10/26/15 – Cardinals 26, Baltimore Ravens 18
The Cardinals wouldn’t have wait long for their next MNF matchup, playing a season later against the Baltimore Ravens.
The tilt marked the third straight home Monday Night Football appearance for the Cardinals. They didn’t squander the opportunity on the national stage, either.
The 4-2 Cardinals leaned on both running back Chris Johnson and Palmer in the 26-18 victory.
Johnson literally rolled over the competition, recording 122 yards and a score, while Palmer added 275 yards and two touchdowns on 20-of-29 passing.
Chris Johnson is a savage ! pic.twitter.com/hgU6FE3eJp
— AJ (@ajmcallen13) October 27, 2015
But the win didn’t come without some drama.
Arizona was cruising with a 26-10 lead until a blocked punt led to a Ravens score and two-point conversion with 4:26 remaining.
After getting the ball back, quarterback Joe Flacco and the Ravens managed to drive down to Arizona’s 4-yard line with seconds remaining.
But just as Baltimore looked to have pulled off the comeback, Cardinals safety Tony Jefferson came down with the game-saving INT in the end zone.
Defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Frostee Rucker, plus safety Tyrann Mathieu, each recorded a sack in the win.
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.
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.