Arizona Cardinals: Top 5 seasons since 1988

Philadelphia Eagles v Arizona Cardinals
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Vince Tobin led the 1998 Arizona Cardinals out of nowhere to sneak into the playoffs and earn the franchise its first playoff win of the modern era.

When you think of the Arizona Cardinals best seasons since the team made its way to the desert in 1988, Vince Tobin’s 1998 team is one of the first that will come to your mind. While that year’s Cardinals were by no means a great football team, they did more than enough to squeak out a playoff berth and upset the Dallas Cowboys, a team who just a few seasons earlier was the Class of the NFL. 

So did Tobin’s 1998 Cardinals make the top five since the franchise relocated from St. Louis to the Phoenix area? Keep reading to find out. 

Bruce Arians, Ryan Lindley
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5 best Arizona Cardinals teams since 1988

5 - Strong finish in 2014 lands Bruce Arians Coach of the Year Award

Before the Arizona Cardinals adopted the eventual “Air Raid” offense under former head coach Kliff Kingsbury, they had a formidable defense in 2014. It was so good that they allowed over 20 points in just three games.

The 11-5 Cardinals took second place to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West, landing them in a duel with the Carolina Panthers on Wildcard Weekend. While the Cards were competitive in that game, they allowed two touchdowns in the third quarter, and Carolina rode its way to a 27-16 victory. 

4 - Vince Tobin leads the Cardinals to their first playoff win since 1947

After the first two weeks of the 1998 season, no one thought highly of Vince Tobin’s Arizona Cardinals, as opponents outscored them 71-24, including, you guessed it, a 38-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1. 

But the Cards went 9-5 the rest of the way. What was truly amazing about this team? Standing at 6-7 and hanging onto their playoff lives by a thread, the Cards pushed through and won three straight nail biters to clinch a playoff berth. 

They marched into Dallas and pulled off a major upset over their then-division rival, before falling to the 15-1 Minnesota Vikings the following week. Despite the fact this was a mediocre Cardinals team, they proved the only stat that matters by the end of the game is the W.