ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals’ 2021 road success vs. NFC West rivals that of teams past

Nov 26, 2021, 9:33 AM | Updated: Nov 29, 2021, 12:14 pm
Arizona Cardinals players celebrate after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 23-13 at Lumen Field on No...
Arizona Cardinals players celebrate after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 23-13 at Lumen Field on November 21, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals haven’t left anything up to chance when it comes to their road record in 2021.

At 6-0, Arizona needs just one more win over its next three games to tie a franchise record for road victories set in 2015 (7-1). Only one other time (2009) have the Cardinals won at least six such games since moving to the Valley in 1988.

The Cardinals have more than overstayed their welcome in enemy territory, too, becoming the third team in NFL history to win its first six games on the road by at least 10 points.

Just as impressive has been the Cardinals’ dominance over its divisional foes on the road, cruising to a 3-0 mark for just the fourth time in franchise history and the first since 2016.

With the postseason in the Cardinals’ crosshairs, let’s take a look at how their previous teams that found success against the division ended up when the dust settled:

2008

Divisional road record: 3-0

Overall road record: 3-5

End result: Super Bowl loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers (27-23)

Arizona’s first taste of road dominance over its NFC West counterparts came in 2008 behind head coach Ken Whisenhunt.

After knocking off the San Francisco 49ers 23-13 in the season opener, Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner took it to his former team, the then-St. Louis Rams, in a 34-13 beatdown in Week 9. Warner threw for 343 yards and two touchdowns in the victory.

The Cardinals closed out their divisional road games with a 26-20 win over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 11.

And while those victories represented Arizona’s only wins on the road that season, it didn’t matter, with the Cardinals cashing their ticket to Super Bowl XLIII.

Unfortunately for the Cardinals, their success away from their home stadium would run out in the 27-23 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers that will widely be remembered by a toe-tapping Santonio Holmes in the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown.

2009

Divisional road record: 2-1

Overall road record: 6-2

End result: Divisional round playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints (45-14)

While the Cardinals didn’t accomplish their 3-0 mark against the division from a season prior, they did step up their game against the rest of their road opponents.

Arizona’s road map started with the shellacking of both the Jacksonville Jaguars (31-17) and Seattle Seahawks (27-3) in Weeks 2 and 6 before a one-score advantage over the Eli Manning-led New York Giants (24-17) in Week 7.

But after two more wins over the Chicago Bears in Week 9 (41-19) and the Rams in Week 11 (21-13), Arizona finally met its match in Tennessee, falling 20-17 in Week 12 after running back Chris Johnson gashed the defense to the tune of 154 yards and an 85-yard touchdown on 18 carries.

Two weeks later, the Cardinals would drop their second road game in a 24-9 loss to the 49ers. Arizona ended its away slate with a 31-24 win over the Detroit Lions, posting a 6-2 road mark.

Earning a playoff berth at 10-6, the Cardinals took home a thrilling 51-45 overtime win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Wild Card game, setting up a date with the Saints in New Orleans in the divisional round.

Arizona’s hopes of returning to the Super Bowl were dashed, though, as New Orleans cruised to a 45-14 win behind signal caller Drew Brees’ three-touchdown showing.

2015

Divisional road record: 3-0

Overall road record: 7-1

End result: Conference championship loss to the Carolina Panthers (49-15)

After winning a combined four divisional games on the road from 2010-14, the Cardinals caught fire in 2015.

Throwing up 40-point efforts in wins against the Bears in Week 2 (48-23) and Lions in Week 5 (42-17), Arizona was rolling to start the season.

Outside of a 25-13 loss to the Steelers in Week 5, the Cardinals had little trouble on the road, winning their final four road games of the season, capped off by a 40-17 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles and a 3-0 finish against the NFC West.

Once again, the Cardinals met with the Packers in the postseason after going 13-3, and Arizona walked away victorious 26-20 in overtime in the divisional round of the playoffs.

The same couldn’t be said against MVP quarterback Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers in the conference championship, however, who steamrolled the Cardinals 49-15 to advance to Super Bowl 50.

The Cardinals have yet to return to the postseason since 2015.

2016

(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Divisional road record: 3-0

Overall road record: 3-5

End result: Missed playoffs at 7-8-1

Year 4 of the Bruce Arians era ended up being one the team’s best seasons on the road against the division. After that, the success drops off considerably.

Arizona suffered a pair of tough losses to the Buffalo Bills in Week 3 (33-18) and the Atlanta Falcons in Week 12 (38-19) on its way to a 3-5 road finish.

The away mark did the team no favors in terms of cracking the postseason, missing the playoffs at 7-8-1.

It would also mark the penultimate season for Arians as the Cardinals head coach.

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Cardinals’ 2021 road success vs. NFC West rivals that of teams past