Breaking down the entire postseason history of the Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals aren’t in the postseason, but it doesn’t mean we can’t sit back and reminisce on their postseason history.
The Arizona Cardinals may be the NFL’s oldest franchise, but their postseason history is relatively thin, considering the organization’s numerous misfortunes. The Cardinals, a chartered member of the NFL when they first joined the league in 1920, didn’t earn a postseason berth until 1947, which was also the final season they won the NFL Championship.
They were in Chicago that season, and as the Chicago Cardinals, they also appeared in the 1948 NFL Championship Game, but in a losing effort to the Philadelphia Eagles. In 1960, they moved to St. Louis, and in 1964, defeated the Green Bay Packers in the Playoff Bowl, a consolation game to determine the league’s third-best team.
During their time in St. Louis, the Cardinals made only three playoff appearances. These occurred in 1974, 1975, and 1982. They were one and done each year.
Arizona Cardinals postseason history is brighter in the desert
The Cardinals moved to Phoenix following the 1987 season, but they didn’t earn a trip to the playoffs until 1998. This was also the first time since 1947 they won a postseason game, not counting the consolation Playoff Bowl, when they defeated the Dallas Cowboys 20-7.
While the Cardinals lost in the Divisional Round to the Minnesota Vikings that season and didn’t see another playoff appearance for another decade, it proved to be worth the wait. In 2008, the 9-7 Cardinals won the NFC West and pulled off one of the most memorable Cinderella playoff runs in NFL history when they earned a trip to their first Super Bowl.
They pulled ahead of the Pittsburgh Steelers, but a last-minute drive from Ben Roethlisberger and Company dashed the Cardinals hopes. However, they returned to the postseason in 2009 and won one of the most memorable Wildcard Playoff matchups in league history in a 51-45 thriller over the Green Bay Packers. They would lose the following week to the New Orleans Saints 45-14.
In 2014, the Cardinals earned another trip to the Wildcard Playoffs, but again lost, this time to the Carolina Panthers. Seeking redemption, the Redbirds went 13-3 the following season and defeated the Green Bay Packers in yet another memorable game, this one in the Divisional Playoffs. The win earned the Cardinals their first trip to the NFC Championship Game since 2008, but they lost to the Panthers 49-15.
They went another five seasons without a playoff berth until 2021. And although the Cardinals started off red hot, they lost once more in blowout fashion on Wildcard Weekend, this time to the Los Angeles Rams.
Overall, the Arizona Cardinals have seen only a handful of playoff appearances in their long history. But with a franchise quarterback in Kyler Murray and a new hope coming to the desert, perhaps we will update articles like these in the not-so-distant future.
(Historical data provided by Pro-Football-Reference)
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