The 2006 Arizona Cardinals season began with the team trying to improve on their 511 record in 2005. They also moved into the Cardinals Stadium in Glendale, Arizona (one of the western suburbs of Phoenix). The stadium was christened University of Phoenix Stadium on September 26. Despite a somewhat promising start, the team suffered a few setbacks, including key losses to the Dallas Cowboys and the eventual NFC Champion Chicago Bears, and ended the season (again) at a disappointing 511 record. Leinart played for the University of Southern California and won 1 national championships with the team in 2003 and 2004.
Leinart missed the first two weeks of the 2006 Cardinals training camp (and the opening game of the preseason) due to prolonged contract negotiations, but on August 15, the Arizona Republic, KTAR radio and ESPN reported that Leinart agreed to a sixyear contract that could earn him a maximum of $51 million, according to his agent, Tom Condon. The contract reportedly contains $14 million in guaranteed money, and likely involves "escalator" clauses that could increase Leinart's salary in the later years of the deal should he meet certain playingtime incentives.
Also in the 2006 draft, the Cardinals would select another USC alum, Guard Taitusi "Deuce" Latui in the 3rd round, followed by Georgia TE Leonard Pope, Michigan DT Gabriel Watson, Louisville LB Brandon Johnson, Virginia Tech DT Jonathan Lewis, and Brigham Young WR Todd Watkins. This as well as the dynamic duo that is Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald at WR could (eventually) make the Cardinals a serious threat in the NFC West.
at University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
The Cardinals opened the regular season at home against the San Francisco 49ers on September 10. This game would be the inaugural regular season game played at the University of Phoenix Stadium. In the first quarter, Niners QB Alex Smith and TE Vernon Davis scored the inaugural regular season TD in the new Stadium as they connected on a 31yard pass. Fortunately, the Cardinals would respond, as QB Kurt Warner threw the very first TD pass by a Cardinals player in the new stadium on a 2yard strike to WR Troy Walters. Newlyacquired RB Edgerrin James provided the very first rushing touchdown in their new stadium as he ran the ball into the end zone on a 1yard strike. Afterwards, Warner threw another TD pass, this time to WR Anquan Boldin. In the second quarter, Niners RB Frank Gore helped San Francisco get closer as he ran on a 4yard TD play. Kicker Neil Rackers helped improve the Cardinals' lead, as he kicked a 36yard field goal. In the third quarter, both sides each got a touchdown. In the fourth quarter, it was all field goals to end the game, as Niners kicker Joe Nedney kicked a 22yard field goal. Then, Rackers helped Arizona on a 30yard field goal. Even though Nedney would kick one more field goal for San Francisco (a 44yard field goal), the Cardinals were able to barely Tyvon Branch Authentic Jersey escape with the win and a 10 start.
Week 2: at Seattle SeahawksEdit13at Qwest Field, www.raidersofficialonline.com/33_tyvon_branch_jersey_authentic_black_limited_cheap.html Seattle, Washington
For Week 2, the Cardinals flew to the Northwest to take on the defending NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks. From the getgo, the Cardinals trailed, as the opposing RB Shaun Alexander to score a TD on a 2yard run. Then, Arizona allowed opposing QB Matt Hasselbeck to complete a 49yard TD pass to WR Darrell Jackson. There wouldn't be anymore scoring by either team for the remainder of the half. In the third quarter, the Cardinals finally got on the border with kicker Neil Rackers nailing a 43yard field goal. However, Seattle managed to put the game away with FB Mack Strong's 3yard TD run. The Cardinals would get a TD, with QB Kurt Warner completing a 40yard pass to WR Bryant Johnson, but in the end, the Seahawks were the better team in this fight and made the Cardinals move to 11.
Week 3: vs. St. Louis RamsEdit13at University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
The Cardinals returned home to face their third NFC West opponent, the St. Louis Rams. QB Kurt Warner drew first blood against his former team, as completed a 12yard TD strike to WR Larry Fitzgerald for the only score of the first quarter. However, in the second quarter, it was all St. Louis. Kicker Jeff Wilkins got a 26yard field goal, QB Marc Bulger completed a 9yard pass to WR Torry Holt, and Wilkens got a 47yard field goal as time ran out on the first half. In the third quarter, Wilkens helped the Rams increase their lead with a 21yard field, which would be the only score of the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, even a valiant effort for a comeback, the only score that Arizona could muster was a 6yard TD run by RB Edgerrin James. After a Bulger fumble deep in St. Louis territory while trying to run out the clock raidersofficialonline.com/33_tyvon_branch_jersey_authentic_black_limited_cheap set up the Cardinals for an easy chipshot field goal to win, Warner fumbled a snap and St. Louis recovered to seal the victory. Adding to the fact that Warner had 3 interceptions during the game, the Cardinals would get their very first Tyvon Branch Elite Jersey loss in their new stadium as they fell to 12. A few days after the game, ESPN reported that rookie QB Matt Leinart would be starting the next game. The next day, Arizona's head coach announced that the club would be sticking with the veteran Warner.