Cardinals passing attack was nearly unstoppable back in 2008

(Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) Kurt Warner and Anquan Boldin
(Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) Kurt Warner and Anquan Boldin /

The 2008 Arizona Cardinals squad that represented the NFC in Super Bowl XLIII was fueled by an outstanding passing attack.

When the 9-7 Arizona Cardinals battled their way to a Super Bowl appearance back in 2008, the unexpected success was largely fueled by one aspect of the team.

The Cards’ defense certainly couldn’t take the credit for that impressive accomplishment. Arizona defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast’s unit yielded an alarming 426 points to opposing offenses. Only four clubs in the NFL gave up more during the course of that season.

Arizona’s running game also didn’t serve as the catalyst for the squad’s remarkable achievement that year. In fact, that segment of the scoring attack produced just 1,178 yards in ’08, a number that ranked them dead-last in the league.

What the Cardinals organization could hang their hat on during that magical campaign was a passing game that was virtually unstoppable. Kurt Warner, a quarterback who had been handed the “washed-up” label just a couple of years before, turned in an MVP-caliber performance for “Big Red”. Out on the playing field with the revitalized passer were not one, not two but three 1000-yard wide receivers, a set of pass-catchers who gave defensive coordinators nightmares.

Arizona Cardinals put up massive numbers through the air back in 2008

Warner had re-established himself as a viable signal-caller for the Cards’ offense in 2007, but it was what he achieved a year later that really made his detractors look silly. In 16 starts in 2008, the 37-year-old completed 67.1 percent of his passes for 4,583 yards and 30 touchdowns. Warner’s stellar play was reminiscent of the man who had led the St. Louis Rams to a Super Bowl championship back in 1999.

The number-one target for Warner in 2008 was Larry Fitzgerald, the most magnificent wideout in Cardinals history. In 16 starts, the future Hall of Famer hauled in 96 passes for 1,431 yards and 12 scores. Fitzgerald then went on a record-breaking tear in the playoffs, a rampage that produced 30 receptions, 546 yards, and seven touchdowns in four postseason matchups.

Anquan Boldin was also an incredible contributor for Arizona during their Super Bowl run. In 12 contests (11 starts), the 6-foot-1, 220-pounder caught 89 balls for 1,038 yards and 11 scores.

Rounding out the Redbirds’ tremendous trio of receivers was Steve Breaston, a fifth-round draft choice of the Cards in 2007. The University of Michigan product tallied 77 catches, 1,006 receiving yards, and three touchdowns.

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Warner, Fitzgerald, and Boldin all received Pro Bowl nominations at the conclusion of that Cinderella season. Unfortunately, the Super Bowl ended in a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Nevertheless, that year’s aerial attack was a pleasure to witness for Cardinals fans everywhere.