2021 Cardinals group can draw parallels to 2008 squad

(Photo by Gene Lower/Getty Images) Kurt Warner
(Photo by Gene Lower/Getty Images) Kurt Warner /

The current losing streak by the Arizona Cardinals looks a lot like what the Super Bowl-bound team experienced back in 2008.

For legions of long-suffering fans, the disheartening slump that the Arizona Cardinals are currently experiencing feels frightening familiar.

Almost a month has passed since Kliff Kingsbury‘s squad won a football game, causing Arizona’s numerous detractors to revel in their misery. After a phenomenal start to the 2021 campaign, the Cards now appear to be collapsing in dramatic fashion.

Diehard followers of the Cardinals are aware that the club has been in this type of predicament before. They would also remember the outstanding response put forth by the team when the chips were down back in 2008. But will this group succeed in righting the ship in the same way that the Redbirds managed to do back then?

2008 Arizona Cardinals went to Super Bowl despite a late-season collapse

The Cards, led by Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner, got off to an impressive 7-3 start back in 2008. Former head coach Ken Whisenhunt‘s crew appeared to be well on their way to an NFC Western division title until a sudden rash of losses threatened to derail the squad’s success.

Arizona’s slide began in week 12 when they dropped a 37-29 decision to the New York Giants. The following week, the team went on the road and got their doors blown off by the Philadelphia Eagles. Warner threw three interceptions, and the defense yielded four touchdowns to Eagles running back Brian Westbrook during the 48-21 blowout.

The Cardinals got back on track in week 14 with a 34-10 drubbing of the St. Louis Rams, but the winning ways were short-lived. Two more ugly defeats occurred over the next two weekends, including a 35-14 home loss to the Minnesota Vikings and a 47-7 trouncing at the hands of the New England Patriots.

The snow-drenched defeat to New England was followed by a season-ending victory over the Seattle Seahawks and three scintillating playoff triumphs. The Cards ended the year by falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII. Not a bad conclusion to the season, considering the fact that the Cardinals had dropped four games over five weeks late in the campaign.

Arizona is going through a similar period of misfortune at the present time. Over the past three weekends, the club has fallen to the Los Angeles Rams, Detroit Lions, and Indianapolis Colts. With just two contests remaining, can the Cards pull themselves together in time for the postseason that gets underway in mid-January?

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A precedent was certainly set by the franchise 13 years ago. Perhaps the Cardinals can initiate another turnaround and turn this latest bout of adversity into the second Super Bowl appearance in the organization’s history.