The most points the Cardinals have scored in a season is 489, back in 2015 when No risk-it, no biscuit was at its peak. The Cardinals reached the NFC Championship game that season. The second-most points the Cardinals have scored in a season was 427, back in 2008, when Kurt Warner was directing three 1,000-yard receivers. The Cardinals reached the Super Bowl that season.
As the Super Bowl is played this weekend, there is still that hesitancy when it comes to high-flying offenses. In the case of this year's title game, it is the Rams -- who scored 527 points this season, 10th-most in NFL history -- in the spotlight, and whether two weeks of prep for a Bill Belichick defense can cause problems and let the Patriots get a win.
The Rams in this game, however, and the Chiefs playing in the AFC Championship (and likely the Super Bowl too, if they had just won the overtime coin flip) is the perfect example of why the Cards decided to take a chance on Kliff Kingsbury. Points matter.
Sure, that sounds obvious. But that's where the hope comes from on a year-to-year basis, the belief in game that a team can still find a way to score enough to win. These days, scoring enough to win might mean 30 points instead of the 21 that might've worked once upon a time. After a season in which the Cardinals were last in points at 225 -- barely 14 a game -- hope disappeared into a black hole.
Even the three Cardinals teams that round out the top scoring years of all time -- 1984 (423 points), 2016 (418) and 2007 (404), none who made the playoffs -- are memorable because those teams all felt in the moment that it wasn't the talent that cost them the postseason, but a game here or there that could've been a win instead of a loss. In other words, hope.
It's been noted that the top 10 scoring teams of all-time have yet to win a Super Bowl. The Rams can change that Sunday. But like the Cardinals in 2015 and 2008, all the top scoring teams made the playoffs. Four are Super Bowl teams. Some lost in the postseason in excruciating fashion (looking at you, 2007 Patriots, 2016 Falcons and 1998 Vikings). Maybe the best offense doesn't guarantee a championship. But it gives you a chance.