We are basically two months into the 2017 fiscal year for the National Football League. It’s safe to say we have seen plenty of player movement via free agency and trades. And in late April, a total of 253 players were selected in the NFL draft. So as teams get ready for mini-camps and OTAs, we figured it was a good time to have some fun looking (and learning) at the significant numbers – both in regards to the past and the present – for each of the 32 franchises. First up are the Arizona Cardinals.
You have to go all the way back to 1947 and the days of the Chicago Cardinals to find the last time this franchise won an NFL title. That will be 70 years ago this season. The team got close in 2008 when they came within a few minutes of beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII. In ’15, the Cards won a team-record 13 games and the NFC West but were blasted in the NFC title game by the Carolina Panthers. All told, the Cardinals own the longest current league championship drought.
Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (1,549) and prolific tight end Tony Gonzalez (1,325) have totaled more career receptions than the Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald (1,125). But it’s also worth noting that all of the latter’s catches have come with the same team. Rice snared 1,281 passes with the San Francisco 49ers from 1985-2000. But 916 of Gonzalez’s grabs came with the Kansas City Chiefs and the remaining 409 receptions were with the Atlanta Falcons. Arizona’s prolific pass-catcher still has some work to do but could wind up with the NFL record for most receptions for one team in league annals.
Only the Houston Texans allowed fewer total yards than Bruce Arians’ team this past season. But all was still not right with the defense of the Arizona Cardinals, especially as the year wore on. The club allowed a very-respectable 37 offensive touchdowns in 2016. But this team surrendered 20 offensive touchdowns in its last six games after giving up only 17 offensive TDs in their first 10 outings of the season.