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The Cardinals started the 2012 season 4-0 before losing nine straight and finishing 5-11. That is the worst follow-up to a 4-0 start in NFL history. Only the 1993 Philadelphia Eagles -- whose starting quarterbacks over their first 10 games included Randall Cunningham, Bubby Brister and Ken O'Brien -- opened a season by winning four straight and followed it up with a losing streak of six games. Of the four quarterbacks who started for the Cardinals in 2012 -- John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer -- only Lindley is still with the team.
In Weeks 11-16, Cardinals quarterbacks John Skelton, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer combined to throw no touchdown passes in six games with the Cardinals, who went 1-5 over that span. During that same period, the three quarterbacks threw 12 interceptions; four of those INTs were returned for touchdowns.
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Larry Fitzgerald has a reception in each of his previous 133 games, a franchise record that breaks the mark once held by Mel Gray, who had 121 consecutive games with a reception from 1973-82. Fitzgerald has caught 738 passes during the streak from 14 different quarterbacks including Kurt Warner, Josh McCown, John Navarre and Brian St. Pierre.
Punt Returns For Touchdowns
As a rookie in 2011, Patrick Peterson tied an NFL record with four punt returns for a touchdown. One of Peterson's TDs came on a 99-yard return in overtime against the St. Louis Rams in Week 9. Since 1983, it is one of only two punt returns to end a game in overtime. The other was by Tamarick Vanover of the Kansas City Chiefs, whose game-ending 86-yard return in Week 6 of the 1995 season beat the San Diego Chargers.
Hall of Fame running back Ernie Nevers is the only player in NFL history to rush for six TDs in a single game. He did so as a member of the Chicago Cardinals against the Chicago Bears on Nov. 28, 1929, in the Cardinals' 40-6 win at Comiskey Park. Only 16 players rushed for more than six TDs in the NFL all of last season.
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First Round Quarterbacks
The Cardinals have selected three quarterbacks in the first round of the modern NFL Draft (since 1967). Matt Leinart, Kelly Stouffer and Steve Pisarkiewicz started a combined 21 games for the franchise. Stouffer, selected sixth overall by St. Louis in 1987, never played for the team and was traded to the Seahawks beacause of a contract dispute. The three quarterbacks had a record of 9-12 while with the Cardinals. Not included in this group is Timm Rosenbach, who was selected in the first round of the 1989 Supplemental Draft. Rosenbach started 20 games for the Cardinals from 1989-92 and went 5-15. These four QBs combined to go 14-27 in 41 starts for the Cardinals.
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Winners And Losers
The Cardinals have only won 10-plus games in consecutive seasons once in franchise history. The team won 10-plus games in three straight seasons from 1974-76 under coach Don Coryell. Coryell was first coach of the St. Louis Cardinals from 1973-77, going 42-27-1 over his five seasons. By contrast, the New England Patriots have won 10-plus games in each of the past 10 seasons.
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On his way to Super Bowl XLIII, Larry Fitzgerald had the best postseason in NFL history for a wide receiver. Fitzgerald set postseason records with 30 receptions, 546 receiving yards and seven TDs in just four games.
Kurt Warner started all 16 games of an NFL season three times in his career, and all three times his team reached the Super Bowl. Warner started 16 games for the St. Louis Rams in 1999 and 2001. The Rams defeated the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV following the 1999 season and lost to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI following the 2001 season. Warner only started all 16 games for the Cardinals once, in 2008. The Cardinals ended that season with their only Super Bowl appearance in team history, losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII.
Arizona Cardinals Wide Receivers
The 2008 Arizona Cardinals are the last team to have a trio of receivers each record more than 1,000 yards in a single season. Larry Fitzgerald (1,431), Anquan Boldin (1,038) and Steve Breaston (1,006) all went over 1,000 yards while catching passes from Kurt Warner, going 9-7 before making a Super Bowl run. Four other teams have had three receivers go over 1,000 yards: the 2004 Indianapolis Colts, 1995 Atlanta Falcons, 1989 Washington Redskins and the 1980 San Diego Chargers. The Cardinals are the only one of these teams to advance to the Super Bowl.