More seasons with Kurt Warner and Carson Palmer could’ve quite possibly resulted in a Super Bowl title for the Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals have not had much luck with quarterbacks over the years. In fact, you can count on one hand the amount of Cards’ signal-callers that are even worth mentioning. There were two in particular, however, who the organization probably wishes had worn their uniform for a much longer period of time.
Kurt Warner and Carson Palmer, it can be argued, are the two best passers in Cardinals’ history. Individuals like Jim Hart, Neil Lomax and Jake Plummer all represented the club well. But when it comes to overall performance, it would have to be said that Warner and Palmer’s years with the team were the most successful.
Unfortunately for Arizona, both quarterbacks were with the franchise for just a limited amount of time. Both Warner and Palmer spent the early portions of their career in other places, and didn’t get to the desert until they were in their mid-30’s. If they had arrived earlier, perhaps the Cards would’ve been able to win a Super Bowl title or two.
Warner, to his credit, was a mere two minutes and thirty-seven seconds from accomplishing that goal for the Cardinals. A 64-yard touchdown pass to the great Larry Fitzgerald in Super Bowl XLIII had the squad on the verge of winning their first-ever Vince Lombardi Trophy. The Pittsburgh Steelers squashed that dream a couple of minutes later, but Warner had come close.
Many so-called “experts” believed that the former St. Louis Ram and New York Giant was past his prime when he arrived in Arizona in 2005. But by 2007, many of those same pundits began to change their opinion. In five campaigns with the Cards, Warner threw for 15,843 yards and 100 touchdowns, proving to his detractors that he had plenty left in the tank.
Palmer’s outstanding performance in 2015 led to an appearance in the NFC Championship game. The former first-overall pick of the 2003 draft guided the Cardinals to a 13-3 regular-season record and a divisional round playoff triumph over the Green Bay Packers. The year ended, however, with a conference-title loss to the Carolina Panthers.
The long-time Cincinnati Bengal, like Warner, also put up impressive numbers during his tenure in Arizona. Palmer tallied 16,782 passing yards and 105 touchdown passes during his five years with Big Red. His superb play in ’15 earned the former USC Trojan the third Pro Bowl nod of his career.
Those were the days. Warner and Palmer took the Cards further than anyone ever expected them to. With a little luck, perhaps the organization will one day find a passer capable of taking them the rest of the way.