Worst moments in Arizona/St. Louis Cardinals history

Kevin Kaduk
Yahoo Sports
Santonio Holmes’s touchdown grab late in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLIII denied the Cardinals their first championship. (AP)
Santonio Holmes’s touchdown grab late in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLIII denied the Cardinals their first championship. (AP)

What are the worst moments for each NFL franchise? Yahoo Sports provides our opinion, which you are free to disagree with (and we’re sure you will).

Cardinals Best Moments | All 32 Teams Best Moments | All 32 Teams Worst Moments

5. Cardinals lose to the Seahawks 58-0 in 2012

No one could have seen the worst loss in franchise history coming when the 2012 Arizona Cardinals started the season with four consecutive wins. But the team’s last season under Ken Whisenhunt went south in a hurry, as the team lost nine straight games, the last of which was an embarrassing blowout to a rising Seattle Seahawks team. The Cardinals turned the ball over eight times against Seattle, managing only 143 yards on offense. The loss would equal the team’s longest losing streak since 1944, when a lack of eligible players during World War II forced the Chicago Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers to field a joint team that went 0-10.

4. Kelly Stouffer sits out entire season

Can you imagine a current team drafting a quarterback with the sixth pick of the draft and then having that player sit out a full season over a contract dispute? It happened with the 1987 Cardinals as Kelly Stouffer, a signal caller from Colorado State, missed the entire season as the two sides squabbled over money. The Cardinals eventually ended up trading Stouffer’s rights to Seattle and it seems like there are still hard feelings all these years later. In a 2009 Los Angeles Times article, Stouffer said that Cards owner Bill Bidwill, known for years as one of the more thrifty owners, never came to the table with an offer that was close to what was paid to Chris Miller, a quarterback taken by the Falcons with the 13th pick. In the same article, the Cardinals released a statement blaming Stouffer’s agent Mike Blatt and pointing out that Blatt “was [later] arrested and tried for the murder of a rival business associate.” (Don’t laugh, it checks out.) “Suffice to say that if we could do it over, we certainly would have selected someone other than Kelly Stouffer with that pick,” the team said. No matter where the truth lies, the whole episode was emblematic of the team’s 27-year stay in St. Louis.

3. “If you want to crown ‘em, then crown their ass!”

Since we’re big fans of the late Denny Green’s classic rant during the 2006 season, we’re open to the argument that this could be one of the Cardinals’ best moments as well. Green wouldn’t have been so ticked, though, had his team not blown such a big lead to the Bears on national television. To refresh your memory: The 1-4 Cardinals held a 20-point lead over the 5-0 Bears and were busy forcing six turnovers as the “Monday Night Football” audience watched. Chicago started its comeback in the third quarter, though, taking a lead without ever scoring an offensive touchdown. (That’s a field goal, fumble return, fumble return and punt return if you’re scoring at home.) Arizona had one final chance to win the game, but Neil Rackers missed a field goal as time expired. That led Green to deliver his angry rant before storming off. “They are who we thought they were!” he yelled. “And we let ‘em off the hook!”

2. Oh, Carson Palmer

The 2015 Cardinals were a pretty good team. Featuring a good offense helmed by Carson Palmer and a strong defense, the squad went 13-3 in the regular season and looked like a good bet to make some noise in the playoffs. And while most NFL fans expected a classic when the Cards met up with the top-seeded Carolina Panthers in the NFC championship, the actual result was anything but. Palmer wilted in the limelight, throwing four interceptions and losing two fumbles as the Panthers romped 49-15 in an absolute laugher. It was an anticlimactic and disappointing end for a Cards fanbase that hoped it would be reaching its second Super Bowl.

1. Santonio Holmes TD grab in Super Bowl XLIII

Most football fans will remember the Steelers-Cardinals matchup as one of the game’s best ever Super Bowls and Santonio Holmes’ improbable touchdown reception as one of history’s best. That’ll all fine and good, but it will forever be a sore spot with Cardinals fans who could taste their team’s first Super Bowl title when Larry Fitzgerald streaked 64 yards for a touchdown with just 2:37 remaining in the game. It was the first time the Cardinals had led all day and all that was standing between the Cardinals and a Lombardi Trophy was one measly defensive stop. Ben Roethlisberger and Holmes had different plans, though, connecting several times on the final drive, including an amazing back of the end zone touchdown grab that featured Holmes barely keeping both feet in bounds as three Cardinals defenders closed in. While even Cards fans have to admit it was an amazing catch, it still doesn’t change the fact it cost them their first and best chance at winning a Super Bowl.

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