5 most memorable Arizona Cardinals one-hit wonder seasons (1988-2022)

The Arizona Cardinals have had several one-hit wonders over their first 35 seasons in the desert. Let’s explore the top five.
Arizona Cardinals v Green Bay Packers
Arizona Cardinals v Green Bay Packers / Jonathan Daniel/GettyImages
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David Johnson
Los Angeles Rams v Arizona Cardinals / Norm Hall/GettyImages

3 - David Johnson, 2016

This one will draw controversy because David Johnson put up solid numbers before and after his one-year wonder campaign with the Arizona Cardinals. But in 2016, Johnson was a borderline MVP, amassing 1,239 rushing yards, 16 rushing touchdowns, 80 receptions, 879 receiving yards, four receiving touchdowns, 2,118 yards from scrimmage, and 20 total touchdowns.

His next-best outing came in 2018 with 1,386 yards from scrimmage and 10 total touchdowns, barely half of what Johnson achieved when he looked on the verge of superstardom in 2016. Overall, Johnson put up decent numbers before and after his 2016 campaign, but at the end of the day, his short stint as a superstar was nothing more than a tease.

4 - Mark Smith, 1998

In many ways, the 1998 Arizona Cardinals were a one-year wonder in and of themselves. Mark Smith was one of those players, having logged 72 combined tackles, 9.0 sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery in 14 games. 

It was the high-water mark for Smith, who saw just two games of action in 1999 before he posted mediocre stats in 2000, his final season in the desert. Smith would move on and play two more years in the NFL, appearing in just 21 games in that span.