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Non-Playoff NFL Team Seasons in Review | Arizona Cardinals

Well, congrats to the Arizona Cardinals. They ALMOST made the playoffs. Arizona really had streaks go one way or the other this season and couldn’t continue to win on a consistent basis. Not to mention they might’ve wasted the final year of Larry Fitzgerald’s Hall of Fame career. Truly pathetic.

Kyle Murray Arizona Cardinals
Credit: Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

Arizona Cardinals Start Strong

The Arizona Cardinals began their 2020 campaign against the defending NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers. This was a close game throughout with both teams going back and forth in the scoring department. In the end, the Cardinals would get the go-ahead touchdown and stop the 49ers. A 24-20 win to start the season got Arizona off on the right foot. The Cardinals next hosted the Washington Football Team in Week 2. The Cardinals got out to a 20-point lead at the half and never looked back. Arizona started 2-0 with this 30-15 victory.

Cardinals Flight Path Sinks Lower

The following week the Detroit Lions came to town. Arizona led for most of the game, but the Lions would keep them from scoring in the fourth quarter. The Cards’ defense would bend and ultimately break as Matt Prater would hit the game-winning field goal as time expired. The Cardinals looked to bounce back on the road in Carolina. The Panthers did a great job of containing the Cardinals offense, only allowing Kyler Murray to accumulate 133 yards passing and 78 rushing. Arizona’s defense could not return the favor as they would lose 31-21.

Cardinals Point Season Skyward Once Again

The Cardinals next traveled north to take on the New York Jets in MetLife Stadium. Murray got the Cards offense rolling this game with 380 yards passing and a touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins. The Cardinals rolled to a 30-10 win. They concluded their road trip the following week on Monday Night Football against the Dallas Cowboys. This game was over pretty quickly as Arizona would score 21 unanswered points in the second quarter. Running back Kenyan Drake finally got out of his slump with 164 yards rushing and two touchdowns to lead the Cardinals to a 38-10 rout.

The Arizona Cardinals’ next game against the Seattle Seahawks was flexed to Sunday Night Football. This proved to be the right decision as it was a fantastic game. The two NFC West rivals fought tooth and nail to the point where regulation was not enough. In overtime, Zane Gonzalez would give the Cardinals the victory, 37-34. Arizona entered their bye with a 5-2 record.

Cardinals Split a Pair Against AFC East Foes

The Arizona Cardinals came out of the bye with a home matchup against the Miami Dolphins. This was yet another game where both teams would go shot for shot and very little defense was played. In the end, Jason Sanders did what Gonzalez did not which was make a field goal. Miami won 34-31.

The Buffalo Bills then came to the desert for a visit. Arizona would come back from down 14 to take the lead, after which Buffalo would take it back with 30 seconds to go. That leads to an image many NFL fans will never forget. A truly unbelievable ending punctuated the Cardinals’ 32-30 victory.

Arizona Cardinals Break a Wing

After the wild win over Buffalo, the Arizona Cardinals next had to travel north for a rematch in Seattle on Thursday Night Football. The Cardinals struggled to get the ball to their main playmakers in this game and ended up taking the loss, 28-21. They looked to bounce back against the New England Patriots the following week. It looked like the defense stepped up in this game while the offense took a step back. Nonetheless, it was still a tie ball game late in the fourth quarter. A phantom roughing the passer call proved to be the difference maker. The penalty yardage moved the Patriots into field goal range so they could kick the game-winner. A third consecutive loss to another divisional rival in the Los Angeles Rams the following week sent the Cardinals record spiraqling back down to .500.

DeAndre Hopkins Arizona Cardinals Offseason
Credit: Sports Illustrated

Cardinals Playoff Dream Stays Alive Against the NFC East

Arizona would next head back to the New York area to take on the Giants. The defense came to play as Haasan Reddick had five sacks, leading the Cardinals to a 26-7 win. A date with the Philadelphia Eagles was up next on the schedule. This game turned into an all-offense shootout. Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts combined for 744 yards passing and 6 touchdowns. In the end, the Murray-Hopkins connection was too much for the Eagles porous secondary. The win would put the Cardinals’ record at 8-6 and in control of their destiny when it came to making the playoffs.

Yeah, About that Dream

The day after Christmas, the 49ers would get their rematch against the Arizona Cardinals. Backup San Francisco quarterback C.J. Beathard showed up and showed out. Arizona’s defense allowed three TDs to Beathard in what turned out to be a 20-12 49ers win. The Cardinals surrendered the drivers seat to a playoff spot with this loss but still had a reasonable chnace to get in. A win against the Rams and a Chicago Bears loss to Green Bay in Week 17 were all that was required. The Bears’ game uiltimately didn’t matter as the Cardinals could not get any offense going without their injured QB Kyler Murray. The Cardinals were eliminated from postseason contention with the 18-7 loss.

Arizona Cardinals Must Address Defense in Offseason

Now, please tell us how you wasted this year, let alone the rest of Larry Fitzgerald’s career? Fitzgerald probably goes out on this stinking ship that Steve Keim thought was a good team. In parts of the year, it was, but there was absolutely no consistency. Changes need to be made, in particular on the defensive side of the ball. The Cardinals will have an opportunity to bolster the D with the 16th pick in the NFL Draft. Here’s hoping Fitz comes back for one more go-around.

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