This year's Arizona Cardinals has been called the "Cardiac Cards" on multiple occasions, especially sine they have won seven games in which they trailed in the second half. During their 6-1 run, they have definitely had a flair for the dramatic. This is not the first time that the Cardinals have been referred to as the Cardiac Cards. In fact, the last team that was known by that moniker was a playoff team. The 1998 Cardinals led by Jake Plummer and the kicking combination of Joe Nedney and Chris Jacke had their last seven wins of the regular season and eight of their nine decided by three points or less en route to a wild card playoff berth and a playoff win over the Dallas Cowboys.
Unlike this year's team, the 98 team stayed right around .500. Their only really streak was their final three games, which they had to win to get into the playoffs. Their worst record of the season was 0-2.
They had a 20-17 win over the St. Louis Rams. It wasn't very dramatic as the Cardinals kicked the winning field goal halfway through the fourth quarter. No scoring happened after that.
They beat the Chicago Bears 20-7 and then the drama began with their wins.
Against the Detroit Lions, the Cards were down 15-14 and with less than three minutes less in the game, Joe Nedney hit a 53-yard kick to win it. It evened their record to 4-4.
The very next week against the Washington Redskins (remember the days of being in the NFC East?) the Cardinals squeaked by 45-42. This game they were the Cardiac Cards for another reason. They built a 31-0 lead and only won by three.
However, the final three games went down to the wire.
Against the Philadelphia Eagle, they were down a touchdown in the fourth quarter, rallied to tie and then, in overtime, Chris Jacke, who was signed late in the year because Nedney had gotten hurt and was done for the rest of the season, hit a 32-yarder in overtime for the win.
The next week against the New Orleans Saints, the Cards were up 16-10 in the fourth. Under three minutes left in the game, Kerry Collins hits Cameron Cleeland to give the Saints a 17-16 lead. Plummer drove the team down the field in scoring position and, as time expired, Jacke nailed a 36-yarder to give the Cards the win and an 8-7 record.
In Week 17, the Cards built a 10-point lead in the second half that they gave up against the Chargers. With 1:16 left in the game, the Chargers scored to tie the game. Plummer then worked his magic again and got the team into field goal range. Again, as time expired, Jacke won it, hitting a 52-yarder. He had missed from 45 and 42 yards earlier in the game.
This season, the Cardinals have been every bit as electrifying in their late run. They have trailed at halftime in all of their wins. Six of them have come while losing in the fourth quarter. Three came in overtime -- on a punt return touchdown, a touchdown pass and a field goal.
With two games left, Arizona must win their final two games to even have a shot at the playoffs. They also need help from other teams, which is very possible.
So...the question is now this. Which are the true Cardiac Cards? Or are they both equals?