1 - Kurt Warner leads the Cardinals to its first Super Bowl appearance
If there was ever a team that came out of nowhere to overachieve, it’s the 2008 Arizona Cardinals. This was a team who lost by three scores or more on four different occasions, and finished the season with a one-point differential in points for vs. points allowed, yet still won the division, and peaked at the right time.
To put it more accurately, they peaked a couple minutes too early, as their defense couldn’t hold off Ben Roethlisberger and his Pittsburgh Steelers offense. But nonetheless, this was a fun team to watch throughout the playoffs. One who nearly pulled off the perfect underdog story with Kurt Warner of all quarterbacks (who actually did pull off such a feat a decade prior) leading the way.
One honorable mention should go to the 2021 team who, while they finished poorly, did jump out to a hot 7-0, and later, a 10-2 start. An entertaining team for most of the season, had they been able to sustain their early-season success, you would have seen them grace this list as well.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)