Eagles vs. Cardinals: 5 Nightmarish Games Philly Fans Would Like to Forget
As the 2-0 Philadelphia Eagles prepare for the 2-0 Arizona Cardinals in Glendale this Sunday, a good number of Eagles fans are probably expecting a win, if not a blowout. That's understandable since they'll be facing former Eagle Kevin "Babyarm" Kolb, who despite beating the Patriots last week didn't look like a world-beater.
Philly fans need to be realistic, though. The Eagles are 54-54-5 lifetime against Cardinals football teams, and many of the 54 losses have been of the gut-wrenching variety.
They say pain is the easiest thing for people to forget. However, for many Eagles fans, painful memories of past losses to Cardinals teams haven't faded.
The Cardinals were bottom-feeders many of the years they played in the NFC East, but they always played the Eagles tough. As a result, fans who penciled in wins for the two games the Eagles played against the Cardinals each year were often stunned when things didn't turn out as expected.
The following slides are a look back at five past Eagles-Cardinals games that had Eagles fans reaching for Tylenol, swearing like sailors, breaking furniture and generally feeling pretty miserable about football.
Jan. 18, 2009: Cardinals 32, Eagles 25
The 2009 NFC Championship Game summed up pretty much everything you need to know about being an Eagles fan—and really, a Philadelphia sports fan in general.
First, you fall behind and sink into despair. Then, your hopes are miraculously revived, only to be deflated with a depressing thud of finality.
The Cards raced out to a 24-6 halftime lead after a maddeningly sloppy 30 minutes of Eagles football. But Donovan McNabb and crew rallied in the third quarter, finally scrapping their way to a 25-24 lead after a spectacular 62-yard touchdown pass to rookie DeSean Jackson with just more than 10 minutes remaining.
As for what happened next, well, let's just say it's too bad NFL games aren't 50 minutes long instead of 60.
Sept. 16, 1990: Cardinals 23, Eagles 21
Most Eagles fans assumed their team would rebound from their hard-fought 27-20 loss to the New York Giants the week before with a Week 2 home matchup against a mediocre Phoenix Cardinals squad.
Instead, the Eagles blew a 14-0 lead and watched the Cardinals claw their way to victory with three fourth-quarter field goals, the last putting Phoenix ahead with seconds left in the game.
Eagles QB Randall Cunningham went 17-of-24 for 252 yards, with two TDs and two INTs, adding 34 yards on six rushes. As would be the case all year, the Eagles struggled to run the ball, and doing so could have helped them salt away the game in the late-going.
The Eagles rebounded to go 10-6, exiting in a first-round wild-card loss, but this loss really stung—even more so after the Cardinals went 5-11 that year.
Nov. 24, 1996: Cardinals 36, Eagles 30
This game, which held the title "The Disaster In The Desert" until the 2009 NFC Championship Game, dropped the Eagles to 7-4 and damaged their playoff positioning in a season that ended with a desultory 14-0 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
The Cardinals led 16-13 entering the fourth quarter, but Boomer Esiason's two-yard TD pass to Larry Centers put the Cardinals up 29-20 late in the game. The Eagles fought back, though; after a 95-yard kickoff return for a TD from Derrick Witherspoon and a 32-yard Gary Anderson field goal, the Eagles pulled ahead 30-29 with under a minute left.
Sadly, the Eagles defense let Boomer and Co. roll right down the field for a touchdown in the closing seconds. Disaster in the desert, indeed.
Oct. 28, 1984: Cardinals 34, Eagles 14
This one really made Eagles fans feel like Charlie Brown after Lucy pulls away the football.
The future looked bright as the Eagles rolled into their Week 9 matchup at home against the 5-3 Cardinals and even brighter after the Eagles jumped out to leads of 7-0 and 14-7—the latter coming on a 90-yard touchdown pass from Ron Jaworski to Mike Quick.
Alas, the Cardinals scored late to take a 17-14 lead into halftime, then threw up 17 unanswered points in the second half to give Eagles fans a harsh dose of reality.
Nov. 13, 2011: Cardinals 21, Eagles 17
Who could forget this wretched chapter in the miasma of disappointment that was the Eagles' 2011 season?
After a 1-4 start, the Eagles somewhat rebounded and were 3-5 going into this game. Despite a frustrating loss to the Chicago Bears the week earlier, Eagles fans were expecting Michael Vick and crew to handle the 2-6 Cardinals pretty easily.
Instead, Vick turned in a nauseating 16-of-34, 128-yard performance with two bad INTs. He added 79 yards on the ground, but ended up getting injured and being unable to play the following week against the Giants.
The worst part about this game was the feeling of inevitability that surrounded its later stages. The Eagles held a 14-7 lead after three quarters, but Cardinals QB John Skelton engineered a comeback, hitting Early Doucet with a five-yard pass to give his team the win and send the tri-state region into even deeper throes of football angst.