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Top Ten Games Of Bruce Arians’ Tenure

Posted Jan 2, 2018

Looking at the most memorable games of a thrilling five-year coaching stint

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians on the sideline for the NFC Divisional Round win over the Packers during the 2015 season.

Bruce Arians retired on Monday. Even though he was with the Cardinals for only five seasons, it was a truly memorable run. The team made the playoffs in two of those years and was a legitimate Super Bowl contender in 2015. There were numerous unforgettable games, including his first win over the Lions and the trip to the NFC Championship game. As Arians heads out the door, here is a look back at the 10 top games of his tenure:

10. Dec. 24, 2016: Cardinals 34, Seahawks 31

The Cardinals were eliminated from the playoffs already but gave themselves a nice Christmas present by going on the road and knocking off Seattle. J.J. Nelson had an 80-yard touchdown catch and Chandler Catanzaro hit a 43-yard field goal as time expired.

9. Nov. 24, 2013: Cardinals 40, Colts 11

Arians got the Cardinals job because he filled in masterfully for Chuck Pagano as interim coach with Indianapolis in 2012.The close friends met on the field the next season and the Cardinals dominated from start to finish. Linebacker Karlos Dansby returned an interception for a touchdown to cap a second-quarter surge.

8. Nov. 9, 2014: Cardinals 31, Rams 14

A great start to the season took a huge turn in this one, as quarterback Carson Palmer went down with a season-ending torn ACL. The Cardinals trailed in the fourth quarter until Drew Stanton found John Brown for a 48-yard go-ahead touchdown. The defense did the rest, as Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie both scored touchdowns as the Cardinals won to improve to 8-1.

7. Dec. 31, 2017: Cardinals 26, Seahawks 24

Arians went out in style, winning in Seattle for the fourth time in five attempts to finish the season 8-8. The Cardinals were without quarterback Carson Palmer, running back David Johnson, both offensive tackles and several key defenders and still pulled out the win. It gave Arians a franchise-record 50 victories with the organization, breaking a tie with Ken Whisenhunt.

6. Dec. 27, 2015: Cardinals 38, Packers 8

Any time Aaron Rodgers comes to town it can be cause for concern, but the Cardinals roughed him up in this one. The defense dominated, as Rodgers was sacked numerous times. Cory Redding and Jerraud Powers each scored defensive touchdowns as the Cardinals proved they were a Super Bowl contender.

5. Dec. 22, 2013: Cardinals 17, Seahawks 10

The team was finding its groove late in Arians’ first season, but it was still a monumental task going to Seattle and trying to pull out a win. The Seahawks’ defense was at the height of its powers, but it was the Cardinals who proved the most resilient. Palmer hit Michael Floyd for the game-winning touchdown and Dansby sealed the win with an interception.

4. Oct. 26, 2014: Cardinals 24, Eagles 20

John Brown’s fantastic rookie season really took off, as he caught a 75-yard touchdown pass from Palmer to give the Cardinals a late lead. The Eagles had a few chances to win the game, but the defense remained stout. Eagles wideout Jordan Matthews caught a pass on the final play, but safety Rashad Johnson shoved him out of bounds before Matthews could get two feet down in the end zone.

3. Dec. 20, 2015: Cardinals 40, Eagles 17

The Cardinals clinched the NFC West in style, going on the road and dominating the Eagles on “Sunday Night Football.” It was David Johnson’s breakout game, as he had 29 carries for 187 yards and three touchdowns. The celebration was more muted than expected because All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu tore his ACL in the game, which ended his season.

2. Nov. 15, 2015: Cardinals 39, Seahawks 32

In a rivalry that has often been dominated by defense, the Cardinals and Seahawks got into a shootout in Seattle. Carson Palmer threw for 363 yards and three touchdowns, including a 14-yard strike to tight end Jermaine Gresham to retake the lead after the Seahawks rallied from a 15-point hole. Running back Andre Ellington iced the game with a 48-yard touchdown run.

1. Jan. 16, 2016: Cardinals 26, Packers 20 (OT)

The Cardinals’ peak under Arians came in the NFC Divisional Round after the 2015 season. The game was a classic, as Larry Fitzgerald’s memorable “Hail Larry” set up his overtime touchdown on a shovel pass to send the Cardinals to the NFC Championship game. The game looked like it would be over in regulation, but Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers connected with Jeff Janis on a 41-yard Hail Mary touchdown on the final play of the fourth quarter to force overtime.

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