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ESPN: Arizona Cardinals rank 29th in franchise QB history

Quarterback Matt Leinart #7 of the Arizona Cardinals is introduced prior to preseason NFL game against the Houston Texans at the University of Phoenix Stadium on August 14, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Texans 19-16. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals haven’t fared as well as other teams when it comes to arguably the most important position on the field.

That is, at least, according to ESPN, which ranked all 32 NFL teams by the quality of their quarterbacks throughout the team history during the Super Bowl era. The Cardinals ranked 29th.

During the Super Bowl era, the Cardinals haven’t had many instances of a quarterback remaining under center for many consecutive years. After Jim Hart and Neil Lomax in the 70s and 80s, it’s been mostly hodgepodge; Stints with Jake Plummer, Kurt Warner and Carson Palmer are exceptions to that.

Only the Browns (30th), Buccaneers (31st) and Chicago Bears (32nd) were lower on ESPN’s list. The New England Patriots were No. 1.

ESPN’s ranking broke down even more specifically to three sub-rankings. The Cardinals didn’t finish well in those, either, which were overall QB production (31), Pro Bowl-caliber seasons (30), QB continuity (26). For each team, a best and worst QB were named, including some other fun facts.

Kurt Warner was named best quarterback.

He is both the Cardinals’ and Rams’ best quarterback. It’s close between Warner and Carson Palmer, but Warner separates himself with his postseason performance. He led Arizona to its only Super Bowl, a heartbreaking loss to the Steelers, and also had an incredible game (29-of-33 passing, 5 TDs) in Arizona’s thrilling 51-45 win over Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in a 2009 wild-card game. Meanwhile, Palmer almost got the Cardinals to the Super Bowl in 2015, before he threw four interceptions in a rout against the Panthers in the NFC Championship Game

Matt Leinart was named the worst.

Former 1987 first-round pick Kelly Stouffer never played for the Cardinals, and Josh Rosen (2018 first-round pick) was hard to gauge after being traded following his rookie year, so Leinart it is. He had high expectations as the 10th overall pick in 2006, a national champion and Heisman winner at USC, but he threw just 14 touchdown passes with the Cardinals.

Also worth noting: ESPN’s Mike Clay expects 26 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and more than 4,000 yards from scrimmage for Kyler Murray this year.

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