|2015 Arizona Cardinals season|
|Head coach||Bruce Arians|
|General manager||Steve Keim|
|Home field||University of Phoenix Stadium|
|Division place||1st NFC West|
|Playoff finish||Won Divisional Playoffs (vs Packers) 26-20 (OT)|
Lost NFC Championship (at Panthers) 15-49
|Pro Bowlers||Justin Bethel, ST|
Calais Campbell, DE
Larry Fitzgerald, WR
Mike Iupati, G
Tyrann Mathieu, FS
Carson Palmer, QB
Patrick Peterson, CB
The 2015 Arizona Cardinals season was the franchise's 117th season, 96th season in the National Football League and the 28th in Arizona. It was also the team's 10th season playing their home games at University of Phoenix Stadium and the third under head coach Bruce Arians. The Cardinals clinched their first NFC West title since 2009, in addition to the first 13-win season in franchise history. They also clinched a first round bye for the first time in franchise history.
The second-seeded Cardinals began their playoff run by defeating the fifth-seeded Green Bay Packers 26-20 in overtime in the divisional round, giving quarterback Carson Palmer his first career playoff win. However, they were blown out by the top-seeded Carolina Panthers in the NFC championship by a score of 49-15, with the Cardinals committing seven turnovers, tied for the most turnovers in a conference championship game since the Los Angeles Rams were defeated by the Cowboys abruptly in the 1978 season by a score of 28-0. The 2015-16 NFC Championship Game was a rematch of the 2008-09 NFC Divisional Round, which saw the 9-7 Cardinals upset the Panthers in their home stadium. The Panthers themselves would go on to play in Super Bowl 50 against the Denver Broncos, losing 10-24. As of the 2018 NFL season, this remains the last time the Cardinals had a winning record and made it to the playoffs.
|1||24||D. J. Humphries||OT||Florida|
|3||86||David Johnson||RB||Northern Iowa|
|4||116||Rodney Gunter||DT||Delaware State|
|5||158||Shaquille Riddick||DE||West Virginia|
|159||J. J. Nelson||WR||UAB|
|1||August 15||Kansas City Chiefs||L 19-34||0-1||University of Phoenix Stadium||Recap|
|2||August 22||San Diego Chargers||L 19-22||0-2||University of Phoenix Stadium||Recap|
|3||August 30||at Oakland Raiders||W 30-23||1-2||O.co Coliseum||Recap|
|4||September 3||at Denver Broncos||W 22-20||2-2||Sports Authority Field at Mile High||Recap|
|1||September 13||New Orleans Saints||W 31-19||1-0||University of Phoenix Stadium||Recap|
|2||September 20||at Chicago Bears||W 48-23||2-0||Soldier Field||Recap|
|3||September 27||San Francisco 49ers||W 47-7||3-0||University of Phoenix Stadium||Recap|
|4||October 4||St. Louis Rams||L 22-24||3-1||University of Phoenix Stadium||Recap|
|5||October 11||at Detroit Lions||W 42-17||4-1||Ford Field||Recap|
|6||October 18||at Pittsburgh Steelers||L 13-25||4-2||Heinz Field||Recap|
|7||October 26||Baltimore Ravens||W 26-18||5-2||University of Phoenix Stadium||Recap|
|8||November 1||at Cleveland Browns||W 34-20||6-2||FirstEnergy Stadium||Recap|
|10||November 15||at Seattle Seahawks||W 39-32||7-2||CenturyLink Field||Recap|
|11||November 22||Cincinnati Bengals||W 34-31||8-2||University of Phoenix Stadium||Recap|
|12||November 29||at San Francisco 49ers||W 19-13||9-2||Levi's Stadium||Recap|
|13||December 6||at St. Louis Rams||W 27-3||10-2||Edward Jones Dome||Recap|
|14||December 10||Minnesota Vikings||W 23-20||11-2||University of Phoenix Stadium||Recap|
|15||December 20||at Philadelphia Eagles||W 40-17||12-2||Lincoln Financial Field||Recap|
|16||December 27||Green Bay Packers||W 38-8||13-2||University of Phoenix Stadium||Recap|
|17||January 3||Seattle Seahawks||L 6-36||13-3||University of Phoenix Stadium||Recap|
Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.
|Playoff round||Date||Opponent||Result||Record||Game site||NFL.com|
|Wild Card||First-round bye|
|Divisional||January 16, 2016||Green Bay Packers (5)||W 26-20 (OT)||1-0||University of Phoenix Stadium||Recap|
|NFC Championship||January 24, 2016||at Carolina Panthers (1)||L 15-49||1-1||Bank of America Stadium||Recap|
With the win, the Cardinals began their season at 1-0.
With the win, the Cardinals improved to 2-0. With losses by the 49ers and Rams, they remain in first place in the NFC West.
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw 4 interceptions in this game, with 2 of them being returned for touchdowns. The two "pick sixes" led to the first scores of the game for Arizona. Kaepernick became the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to throw 2 pick sixes to begin the game. Overall, the Cardinals bombed the 49ers, 47-7.
With the win, the Cardinals improved to 3-0 for the second straight season.
The Cardinals failed to stop the Rams all game long, only being held to 5 field goals and a touchdown, as a result of ending their three-game winning streak to start the season. With their first loss, the Cardinals drop to 3-1.
With the win, the Cards improved to 4-1.
The Steelers were led by backup quarterback Landry Jones in this game due to the absence of Ben Roethlisberger. Jones would have a really good game, throwing for 168 yards on only 12 throws. Carson Palmer would throw 2 interceptions while he threw the ball 45 times, completing only 29 passes in the process.
With the loss, the Cardinals fell to 4-2. In this rematch of Super Bowl XLIII, this would turn out to be the Cardinals' only road loss of the season.
With the win, the Cardinals improved to 5-2.
The Cardinals would trail 20-10 at halftime, but they would come back to win 34-20 behind a 300-yard passing, 4-touchdown game from Carson Palmer.
With the comeback victory, the Cards improved to 6-2.
Arizona would trail 29-25 in the fourth quarter, but they would outscore Seattle 14-3 in the final 5 minutes. Carson Palmer would throw for 300 yards for the second straight week, and threw 3 touchdowns.
With the win, Arizona improved to 7-2.
The Cardinals would build leads of 28-14 and 31-21 in the third and fourth quarters, but the Bengals would come back to tie the game 31-31 on a Mike Nugent field goal. Arizona would then march down the field to win the shootout on a field goal from Chandler Catanzaro with 1 second left.
With the win, the Cardinals improved to 8-2.
With the win, Arizona improved to 9-2 and swept the 49ers for the first time since 2008.
With the win, the Cardinals improved to 10-2.
With their seventh straight win, the Cardinals improved to 11-2 and clinched a spot in the NFL playoffs.
With the win, the Cardinals won 12 games (not including playoffs) in one season for the first time in their 96-year history and clinched their first ever first-round bye in the playoffs.
A defense forcing 4 turnovers and sacking Aaron Rodgers 9 times, combined with Carson Palmer throwing for 265 yards, 2 touchdowns and only 1 interception, gave the Cardinals a 38-8 blowout against the Packers.
With the win, the Cardinals improved to 13-2.
Even though the outcome of the game would not impact the standings in the playoffs in any way, coach Bruce Arians planned to play the game with all starters. At halftime, down by 24 points, notable starters including quarterback Carson Palmer were pulled from the game.
In a rematch of week 16, the Cardinals once again faced the Packers. This was the first playoff game between the teams since 2009, a game the Cardinals ended up winning 51-45 in overtime, setting the record for the most points scored combined in a playoff game.
The Cardinals would strike first when Carson Palmer found Michael Floyd for an 8-yard touchdown to put them up 7-0. On Green Bay's first drive, they would go down the field and get a field goal from Mason Crosby from 28 yards out to make the score 7-3. Green Bay would get another field goal before the half to cut the lead to 7-6. The Packers would then get the lead after Jeff Janis caught an 8-yard touchdown pass to give them a 13-7 lead. Arizona would cut the deficit to 13-10 after Chandler Catanzaro kicked a 28-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, the Cardinals would take the lead after Michael Floyd caught another touchdown that was tipped by Packers cornerback Demarious Randall in the end zone. The Cardinals would get some insurance with 1:55 left after Catanzaro kicked a 36-yard field goal to make it 20-13. The Packers would get the ball back with a chance to tie the game. With 55 seconds left in regulation, the Packers faced a 4th and 20 from their own 4 yard line. Aaron Rodgers would end up throwing a 61-yard pass to Jeff Janis to put the Packers at the Cardinals 35 yard line. Later, with 5 seconds remaining, Rodgers would throw another Hail Mary pass to Janis to tie the game at 20 and force overtime. Rodgers had thrown a hail mary at Detroit earlier in the season, making him the first quarterback in NFL history to throw 2 Hail Marys in the same season.
With the game in overtime, the Cardinals won the toss. On the first play from scrimmage, Palmer threw a 75-yard pass to Larry Fitzgerald to the Packers 4 yard line. Two plays later, Palmer ended the game after he flipped a pass to Fitzgerald on a draw play to end the game and send the Cardinals to the NFC Championship game against 1 seeded Carolina.
With the win, the Cardinals improved to 14-3, remain the only team in the NFL to be undefeated at home in the playoffs, and advanced to the NFC Championship game for the first time since 2008.
After the Cardinals called heads to win the coin toss, Carolina dominated the game from start to finish. With the loss, the Cardinals finished the season with an overall record of 14-4. They also turned the ball over 7 times in a Championship game. It would tie the most giveaways in a single conference championship game with the 1978 Rams.
|St. Louis Rams||7||9||0||.438||4-2||6-6||280||330||L1|
|San Francisco 49ers||5||11||0||.313||1-5||4-8||238||387||W1|
|5[a]||Green Bay Packers||North||10||6||0||.625||3-3||7-5||.531||.450||L2|
|Did not qualify for the playoffs|
|8[b]||St. Louis Rams||West||7||9||0||.438||4-2||6-6||.527||.482||L1|
|11[b]||New Orleans Saints||South||7||9||0||.438||3-3||5-7||.504||.402||W2|
|12[c]||New York Giants||East||6||10||0||.375||2-4||4-8||.500||.396||L3|
|14[c]||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||South||6||10||0||.375||3-3||5-7||.484||.406||L4|
|15||San Francisco 49ers||West||5||11||0||.313||1-5||4-8||.539||.463||W1|