ARIZONA CARDINALS

Kurt Warner’s retirement hurt Cardinals worse than you think

Jan 29, 2013, 8:18 PM | Updated: Jan 30, 2013, 12:16 am

I’m sure this isn’t the first time you’ve read a reference to the fact that it was three years ago — January 29, 2010 — that Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner hung up his cleats after a stellar 12-year NFL career.

Unfortunately, it will be the most painful reminder of that event.

It hurt at the time. The Cardinals were not only relevant for the first time since they had moved to the Valley from St. Louis in 1988, they were among the best and most exciting teams in the league.

Most who followed the team in any capacity knew there would be a drop off from the production at the quarterback position after Warner’s exodus. But you would have had to be Nostradamus after LASIK surgery to see at the time how badly the position would suffer.

In Warner’s last three seasons as a Cardinal, he completed 65.4 percent (1,021-of-1,562) of his passes for 11,753 yards with 83 touchdowns and only 45 interceptions. In that time span, Warner was 24-18 as a starter while guiding the Cardinals to back-to-back NFC West titles and an appearance in Super Bowl XLIII.

I’m not breaking any news here, but the three years that have followed have been a quarterbacking disaster.

Don’t believe me? Look at the numbers. The Cardinals are 18-30 since Warner’s retirement, which is the fifth-worst record in the league in that span.

But concentrating just on QB play, Arizona has been even worse. The six-headed monster (comprised of Derek Anderson, Max Hall, John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer) has completed 929-of-1,719 passes for 10,601 yards with 42 touchdowns and 63 interceptions.

They combined to complete only 54 percent of their passes, the worst in the league over the three-season span (the Jets are next-worst at 55.6 percent.) They’ve combined to throw only 42 touchdown passes in 48 regular season games — the worst mark in the league. To put that in perspective, Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints has thrown more than that in each of the last two regular seasons!

Compounding the lack of touchdown passes is the number of interceptions Cardinals quarterbacks have thrown — 63, tied for the most in the league with Buffalo. The Cardinals are one of only four teams along with Carolina, Minnesota and Cleveland, with a negative touchdown-to-interception ratio, and their mark (-21) is 17 picks worse than the second-worst team.

And then we come to the all-important stat of Passer Rating. While, predictably, teams like Green Bay (109.99), New England (103.94) and New Orleans (99.22) top the list, the Cardinals bring up the rear with a paltry figure of 65.69 — by far the worst in the league since the beginning of the 2011 season. Second-worst? Jacksonville, with a rating of 73.53.

Sorry I had to be the one to crystallize the ineptitude of Cardinals quarterbacks in the last three years. Sure, you had a good idea about it already, but still.

The bad news is the Cardinals still haven’t found a solution at the position heading into the 2013 season.

NFL PASSING STATS 2010-2012

TEAM COMP ATT COMP % YARDS TD INT TD/INT
RATIO
PASSER
RATING
3-YEAR
RECORD
ARIZONA 929 1719 .540 10601 42 63 -21 65.69 18-30
ATLANTA 1148 1786 .643 12809 89 36 +53 93.74 36-12
BALTIMORE 956 1595 .599 11254 68 33 +35 87.02 34-14
BUFFALO 961 1608 .598 10658 72 63 +9 78.10 16-32
CAROLINA 852 1493 .571 10651 49 50 -1 76.35 15-33
CHICAGO 831 1444 .575 10041 62 57 +5 76.88 29-19
CINCINNATI 1008 1665 .605 11302 75 50 +25 83.32 23-25
CLEVELAND 944 1614 .585 10171 45 49 -4 73.72 14-34
DALLAS 1189 1804 .659 13653 91 50 +40 93.81 22-26
DENVER 953 1597 .597 11686 82 36 +46 90.02 25-23
DETROIT 1251 2039 .614 14211 89 49 +40 86.79 20-28
GREEN BAY 1102 1651 .667 13858 122 29 +93 109.99 36-12
HOUSTON 1007 1595 .631 12112 66 34 +32 91.25 28-20
INDIANAPOLIS 1091 1841 .593 12297 70 49 +21 80.88 23-25
JACKSONVILLE 859 1524 .564 9612 58 53 +5 73.53 15-33
KANSAS CITY 846 1450 .583 9414 48 46 +2 75.57 19-29
MIAMI 908 1530 .593 10605 50 47 +3 78.51 20-28
MINNESOTA 891 1498 .595 9517 52 55 -3 74.39 19-29
NEW ENGLAND 1135 1760 .645 14123 110 26 +84 103.94 39-9
NEW ORLEANS 1345 1994 .675 15328 122 55 +67 99.22 31-17
NY GIANTS 1021 1667 .612 12902 86 56 +30 88.57 28-20
NY JETS 870 1565 .556 10140 60 51 +9 74.61 25-23
OAKLAND 970 1644 .590 11882 62 55 +7 80.00 20-28
PHILADELPHIA 1045 1733 .603 12566 68 53 +15 82.88 22-26
PITTSBURGH 993 1592 .624 12235 70 38 +32 90.80 32-16
SAN DIEGO 1063 1654 .643 12976 83 48 +35 92.96 24-24
SAN FRANCISCO 848 1387 .611 10357 60 28 +32 90.15 30-18
SEATTLE 882 1458 .605 10214 56 44 +12 81.91 25-23
ST. LOUIS 978 1696 .577 10553 49 39 +10 76.11 16-32
TAMPA BAY 982 1648 .596 11546 70 47 +23 83.21 21-27
TENNESSEE 844 1598 .591 10968 63 45 +18 81.32 21-27
WASHINGTON 986 1638 .602 11985 64 51 +13 82.78 21-27

Presented By
Western Governors University
Sports 620 KTAR's Ron Wofley watches as Kurt Warner joins Gambo & Ash live after announcing his retirement Friday, January 29, at the team's Tempe headquarters. (Adam Green/KTAR) Kurt Warner joins Sports 620 KTAR's Gambo & Ash live after announcing his retirement Friday, January 29, at the team's Tempe headquarters. (Adam Green/KTAR) Kurt Warner's family joined him after he announced his retirement Friday, January 29, at the team's Tempe headquarters. (Adam Green/KTAR) Kurt Warner's family joins him after he announced his retirement Friday, January 29, at the team's Tempe headquarters. (Adam Green/KTAR) Kurt Warner announces his retirement Friday, January 29, at the team's Tempe headquarters. (Adam Green/KTAR) Kurt Warner announces his retirement Friday, January 29, at the team's Tempe headquarters. (Adam Green/KTAR) Kurt Warner announces his retirement Friday, January 29, at the team's Tempe headquarters. (Adam Green/KTAR) Kurt Warner announces his retirement Friday, January 29, at the team's Tempe headquarters. (Adam Green/KTAR) Kurt Warner announces his retirement Friday, January 29, at the team's Tempe headquarters. (Adam Green/KTAR) Cardinals Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt (back) and Cardinals team President Michael Bidwill watch as Kurt Warner announces his retirement Friday, January 29, at the team's Tempe headquarters. (Adam Green/KTAR) Kurt Warner looks over at Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt as he announces his retirement Friday, January 29, at the team's Tempe headquarters. (Adam Green/KTAR) Kurt Warner announces his retirement Friday, January 29, at the team's Tempe headquarters. (Adam Green/KTAR) Kurt Warner holds a copy of the Bible, which he traditionally brought to all his postgame press conferences, while he announces his retirement Friday, January 29, at the team's Tempe headquarters. (Adam Green/KTAR) Kurt Warner announces his retirement Friday, January 29, at the team's Tempe headquarters. (Adam Green/KTAR) Kurt Warner announces his retirement Friday, January 29, at the team's Tempe headquarters. (Adam Green/KTAR) Kurt Warner announces his retirement Friday, January 29, at the team's Tempe headquarters. (Adam Green/KTAR) Kurt Warner announces his retirement Friday, January 29, at the team's Tempe headquarters. (Adam Green/KTAR) Kurt Warner announces his retirement Friday, January 29, at the team's Tempe headquarters. (Adam Green/KTAR) With his family in tow, Warner announced his retirement from the NFL on Jan. 29, 2010. Kurt Warner announces his retirement Friday, January 29, at the team's Tempe headquarters. (Adam Green/KTAR) Kurt Warner waits to step to the podium to announce his retirement Friday, January 29, at the team's Tempe headquarters. (Adam Green/KTAR)

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Kurt Warner’s retirement hurt Cardinals worse than you think