The 5: Last Sunday Night Football appearances for Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals are in primetime for the second straight week and make an appearance on Sunday Night Football for the first time in four years.
With COVID-19 concerns in the NFL’s priorly scheduled primetime tilt for Sunday, the league shifted the schedule and put the Cardinals’ matchup with the Seattle Seahawks on the big stage.
Including postseason appearances, Arizona is 7-4-1 on Sunday Night Football while Seattle is a daunting 21-8-1.
If the Cardinals’ last five SNF outings are any indication, this Sunday will not be a game to forget. Here they are:
2016 Week 7: Cardinals vs. Seahawks
Oof, we should just move on.
The Cardinals and Seattle tied 6-6, which explains why it took so long for Arizona to return to Sunday Night Football.
In overtime, Chandler Catanzaro bafflingly missed from 24 yards and then the Seahawks’ Stephen Hauschka matched him by missing from 28 yards out with 11 seconds left.
NBC’s Al Michaels declared, “How in the world?!” after Catanzaro’s attempt hit the left post, and twice exclaimed “that’s impossible!” when Hauschka’s whiff missed the entire netting behind the uprights.
Carson Palmer threw for 349 yards and David Johnson rushed for another 113, but Arizona only managed six points. That’s because Arizona ran an astounding 90 plays in that game. They outgained Seattle 443 to 257 in total yardage.
2016 Week 1: Cardinals vs. Patriots
In a game many had high expectations for following a hugely successful Cardinals 2015 season and the Patriots being without the suspended Tom Brady, Arizona was upset 23-21 by a Jimmy Garoppolo-led (!) New England squad.
Catanzaro failed to convert from 47 yards to win the game as time expired after Garoppolo led the Patriots 61 yards the drive prior for the go-ahead field goal with 3:44 to go.
Larry Fitzgerald had eight catches for 81 yards and two touchdowns on a night that could be looked at as the beginning of the end for the Arians era.
2015 Week 15: Cardinals vs. Eagles
If you’re struggling to put a finger on recalling this one, it was The David Johnson Game. Ah, see! Now you remember!
The Cardinals destroyed Philadelphia 40-17, improving to 12-2 and cementing their status on a national stage as a true championship contender.
Johnson rushed for 187 yards on 29 carries with three touchdowns, catching another four balls for 42 additional yards. This followed a season-ending injury to Chris Johnson, who had been the preferred ball-carrier of the two for Bruce Arians.
Deone Bucannon and Tyrann Mathieu both picked off former Cardinals quarterback Sam Bradford (!), with Bucannon running his back for a touchdown.
2015 Week 11: Cardinals vs. Bengals
If the Eagles game was the statement, this was the coming-out party, and might be the wildest game of these five.
The Bengals were 8-1 and the Cardinals 7-2, with the NFL choosing to flex this game in like they also did for the Philadelphia matchup later in the season. Arizona’s 34-31 last-second win certified it should be in the discussion at the top of the NFC.
The memorable conclusion was Catanzaro kicking a 32-yard field goal as time expired, and that was 15 yards closer than it should have been after the Bengals’ Domata Peko got a befuddling unsportsmanlike conduct penalty as Arizona was going to spike the ball to stop the clock.
Peko was simulating Palmer’s snap count in an attempt to get the Cardinals offensive line to jump, a brand of gamesmanship that will earn a flag. As NBC’s Cris Collinsworth noted during the broadcast, it’s likely the only reason the umpire heard Peko’s false counts through the crowd noise was because he was right over the ball to re-place it after the kneel by Palmer.
The clock had to be stopped, by the way, because the Cardinals chose with 20 seconds left on 2nd-and-10 from the Bengals 27-yard line to take a knee and run out the clock rather than go for more yardage with no timeouts.
That was a game Arizona led 28-14 at one point late in the third quarter.
Palmer threw two interceptions in the first quarter before recovering to four touchdowns and 317 yards passing.
2015 Week 10: Cardinals vs. Seahawks
The Cardinals’ 39-32 win over the Seahawks was yet another one on this list that was unforgettable, and this one particularly for two acts by Arizona players on the sideline.
On 3rd-and-4 from the Seahawks 48-yard line with 2:07 to go and a three-point Cardinals lead, a first down would ice the game.
Perhaps Arians’ most noteworthy play call followed, a draw to Andre Ellington that went all the way for a touchdown.
Backup quarterback Drew Stanton’s sideline celebration remains the greatest in Cardinals history.
Palmer’s reaction was nearly just as good.
The veteran quarterback was fined by the league for the thrust.