The Arizona Cardinals and the Philadelphia Eagles have met in some of the most underrated games in the NFL’s long history.
The history of the Arizona Cardinals and the Philadelphia Eagles goes back a long way to the pre-Super Bowl era of the NFL. The two franchises have been around for a very long time, with the Cardinals being the league’s oldest franchise and the Eagles coming along in 1933. Combined, the franchises have six championships, two for the Cardinals and four for the Eagles, including one Super Bowl title belonging to the Eagles from the 2017 season.
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When the two teams meet again this week for Week Five of the 2022 season, they’ll do so led by two of the most exciting quarterbacks in the NFL. Jalen Hurts has taken leaps and bounds for the Eagles since last season and has become one of the best in the league. The Cardinals owe their two wins to Kyler Murray playing backyard football, having yet to find much else working for them in the early season. Will Week Five’s matchup between the two teams be as memorable as some of their best?
1947 NFL Championship
The Cardinals and Eagles met in back-to-back NFL championship games in 1947 and 1948. The Cardinals, then from Chicago, won the ’47 matchup 28-21. Running backs Elmer Angsmann and Charley Trippi played extremely well, particularly Angsmann, who had two rushing touchdowns and 159 rushing yards. Trippi had 84 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown. It’s a good thing, too, because quarterback Paul Christman had a bad game, throwing two interceptions.
The Eagles relied on quarterback Tommy Thompson through the air, who, despite throwing three interceptions, also went for 297 yards and a touchdown. Steve Van Buren and Russ Craft provided rushing touchdowns for the team as well. The Eagles had more first downs, net pass yards, and total yards. But the Cardinals crushed them in the running game, 282 yards to 60 yards and three touchdowns to two.
1948 NFL Championship
The ’48 championship game between the teams was much different. The Eagles beat the Cardinals 7-0, in a game that became famous for having some the worst weather conditions of any game played in NFL history. Heavy snowfall rendered the passing game for both teams practically non-existent. The Eagles outrushed the Cardinals significantly, 225 yards to 96 yards, and Steve Van Buren ran in the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter. The game is also significant for having been the first NFL championship game to be televised.
Though the Cardinals came into the game as a slight favorite, the elements had a clear effect on the team, as they fumbled the ball three times and lost it twice. These giveaways were killer in a game where scoring was nearly impossible to come by. The Eagles went on to play in and win the NFL championship again in 1949, their last for 11 years. The Cardinals wouldn’t make another NFL title game until Super Bowl XLIII. Before that Super Bowl, the teams would meet in the postseason again.
2008 NFC Championship
The Cardinals and Eagles played in the 2008 NFC championship game. The 32-25 game featured great performances from Kurt Warner and Donovan McNabb. Warner, in particular, was nearly flawless in the game, throwing for four touchdowns and 279 yards for a quarterback rating of 145.7. Larry Fitzgerald hauled in nine receptions for 152 receiving yards and three touchdowns, in one of his best postseason performances.
The 2008 NFC championship game, along with the 1947 and ’48 NFL championship games, were all close games. Though the Cardinals and the Eagles don’t have a historically recognized rivalry, they’ve certainly met in enough big games to make up one of the NFL’s best unsung franchise matchups. Both teams have a lot of history in their franchise pages and one can only hope Week Five’s matchup in the 2022 NFL season can live up to that. But, of course, the Cardinals will hopefully come out on top.