Five Years Ago, Larry Fitzgerald Sent Cardinals to NFC Championship Game

The Arizona Cardinals last playoff win came five years ago against the Green Bay Packers.
Publish date:

January 16, 2016. 

The Cardinals hosted the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs. With the score tied at 20, the Cardinals started overtime with the football. 

Under center, Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer dropped back, faked the handoff and stepped up in the pocket. He spun away from an oncoming defender and rolled out to his right. 

Across his body, he threw the ball 14 yards down the field to the far sideline, where wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald stood alone. The crowd inside previously named University of Phoenix Stadium got louder and louder with every yard gained as Fitzgerald made each defender miss. 

"Fitzgerald is going to take it into Green Bay territory, Larry Fitzgerald inside the 30, the 20, Larry Fitzgerald is insane!" NBC broadcaster Al Michaels exclaimed as Fitzgerald reached the Green Bay 4-yard line on the broken play. 

On the next snap, Palmer shoveled the ball to Fitzgerald, who cut into the end zone to seal Arizona's first playoff win since the 2009 postseason, which was also against the Packers. 

Palmer out-dueled 2014 league MVP Aaron Rodgers, completing 25-of-41 passes for 349 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Arizona did not find much success running the ball, but Fitzgerald led all targets with eight receptions for 176 yards.  

The win put the Cardinals in the NFC Championship for the first time since the 2008 season, and the second time in the Super Bowl era. However, the Cardinals were taken down 49-15 against the 15-1 Carolina Panthers.  

The 2015 Cardinals were the franchise's most recent playoff team, and the overtime thriller five years ago was the last time it won a postseason game. The Cardinals have gone 8-8 twice since then, with the 2020 squad coming closest to making it back to the playoffs.