The Arizona Cardinals are a franchise that's synonymous with futitity and their struggles on Monday nights are just another example of the history that these 2008 Cardinals are trying to seperate themselves from. Monday Night Football has been around roughly four decades and even though some teams have appeared in over 70 Monday night games, the Cardinals have played in the vaulted game just 18 times. Only five teams have appeared in fewer MNF games and four of them are recent expansion teams (HOU, CAR, JAC & BAL). Here's some not so fun facts of the Cardinals' history on MNF:
- Their all-time record on MNF is 5-12-1 (.277), which is the lowest winning percentage of any team that's appeared in the game.
- The Cardinals haven't won on MNF since 1985, when they were actually the St. Louis Cardinals (0-6 since).
- They have never beaten the 49ers on MNF, although they've only played twice. The first meeting was in 1999 (24-10) and last year's disappointing loss.
- The Cardinals most common opponent on Monday nights has been the Dallas Cowboys and they've met six times with each team winning three games. The Cowboys have won the last three but the Cardinals win over Dallas in 1985 was their most recent win on MNF.
- The most points the Cardinals have scored in MNF is 38 and they've forced two shutouts. The 38 points and a shutout came in the same game in a victory over the Cowboys in 1970.
Monday nights have been especially cruel to the Cardinals over the past couple of seasons. Last years' loss the Niners was a gut-wrenching loss that San Fran pulled out in the final minute, in Ken Whisenhunt's first game as head coach. The Cardinals' defense held the Niners to just 194 offensive yards and they had almost a ten minute advantage in time of possession but that didn't stop Alex Smith from leading a 86 yard drive in the final two minutes to score the winning touchdown. In 2006 the Cardinals played a game that will most likely never be erased from the infamous history of the Cardinals and Monday Night Football. We all know the Cardinals jumped out to an early lead with Matt Leinart playing great and the defense forcing six Rex Grossman turnovers. A 20-0 lead at halftime over the undefeated Bears looked safe considering the Bears inability to muster anything on offense. Of course, in the end the Bears didn't need offense because a defensive TD, a special teams TD and a Neil Rackers missed field goal led to one of the worst losses in recent memory (and that's saying something if you're a Cardinals fan).
I wrote a while back that winning on the road was the next hurdle that Ken Whisenhunt had to jump before this franchise earn respect, but winning a game on Monday night wouldn't be a bad bullet point to add to the resume either. If they continue this years' success and have a good game tonight, they could have more frequent prime time games in their future. Are the 2008 Cardinals ready to put the past behind them and beat an inferior opponent on the biggest of stages?