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After voiding the second year of his contract with the New York Giants, Kurt Warner hit the free-agent market and signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the Arizona Cardinals in March 2005.

Arizona head coach Dennis Green, coming off a 6-10 season during his first year in the desert, clearly liked the idea of having a two-time NFL MVP on a team that hadn’t made the postseason since the 1998 season and quickly named Warner the starter over Josh McCown, who’d started 13 games for the Cardinals the previous year.

In Week 1 of the regular season against the team for whom he’d played the previous year, the New York Giants, Warner completed just 58.7% of his passes for 264 yards with a touchdown and an interception in a 42-19 loss.

In Week 2, he played his other former team, the St. Louis Rams, and was more efficient, connecting on 69% of his 42 targets for 327 yards. But he failed to throw a touchdown and tossed another interception in a 17-12 defeat.

During a 37-12 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 3, Warner was forced to leave the game after injuring his groin.

Kurt Warner of the Arizona Cardinals during the 2005 NFL season
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner steps out of the shadows during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars | Gene Lower/NFLPhotoLibrary

Despite Warner being ready to return following a two-game absence, Green chose to stick with McCown, at least until McCown struggled for a couple of games. Warner took his job back in Week 9 and remained the starter until he partially tore his MCL in Week 15 against the Houston Texans, ending his season. Prior to the injury, he’d completed all 10 of his pass attempts for 115 yards and a touchdown.

The highlight of his season was easily his return to St. Louis in Week 11. Playing in front of the fans who cheered him on for six seasons, Warner completed 27 of 39 passes for 285 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions in a 38-28 victory.

He received quite an ovation when he stepped on the field for the first time, which clearly meant a lot to him. Afterward, he commented on how he wasn’t sure how his return would be received: “You just never know, you’re on the other side of the fence, and you’re wearing a different uniform now.”

Warner waved to the crowd before settling in and taking down his old club.

The good feelings couldn’t last, though. The Cardinals finished with a 5-11 record and missed the playoffs for the seventh consecutive time.

Read more about Kurt Warner’s NFL career:

Kurt Warner 2005 Stats

Passing Stats


Rushing Stats


Kurt Warner 2005 Game Log

Passing Stats

9/11/051@NYGL 42-1927462641173.1
9/18/052STLL 17-1229423270182.1
9/25/053@SEAL 37-128131050087.0
10/2/054SFW 31-14N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
10/9/055CARL 24-20N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
10/23/057TENW 20-10N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
10/30/058@DALL 34-13N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
11/6/059SEAL 33-1929483341362.3
11/13/0510@DETL 29-2129453591096.4
11/20/0511@STLW 38-28273928530115.9
11/27/0512JAXL 24-1729463152188.6
12/4/0513@SFW 17-1029453541277.5
12/11/0514WASL 17-1325412551176.8
12/18/0515@HOUL 30-19101011510147.9
12/24/0516PHIW 27-21N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
1/1/0617@INDL 17-13N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A

Rushing Stats

9/11/051@NYGL 42-1931100
9/18/052STLL 17-121003
9/25/053@SEAL 37-1211300
10/2/054SFW 31-14N/AN/AN/AN/A
10/9/055CARL 24-20N/AN/AN/AN/A
10/23/057TENW 20-10N/AN/AN/AN/A
10/30/058@DALL 34-13N/AN/AN/AN/A
11/6/059SEAL 33-190001
11/13/0510@DETL 29-211001
11/20/0511@STLW 38-282102
11/27/0512JAXL 24-171501
12/4/0513@SFW 17-103-500
12/11/0514WASL 17-131301
12/18/0515@HOUL 30-190000
12/24/0516PHIW 27-21N/AN/AN/AN/A
1/1/0617@INDL 17-13N/AN/AN/AN/A

All stats, unless otherwise indicated, courtesy of Pro Football Reference

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