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Cardinals Ready for Playoff Matchup w/ Falcons

The NFC West Champion Cardinals host their first playoff game since 1947 this week as the Atlanta Falcons visit Arizona for an NFC West Wild Card Game. The team’s face off on Saturday at 2:30 PM (MST) on NBC.

For the Cardinals, who finished the regular season at 9-7, it is their first playoff appearance since 1998 and second since the franchise moved to Arizona in 1988. The Cardinals won the NFC West behind a perfect 6-0 division record. The only other time the Cards went undefeated in their division was in 1968 when they went 5-0-1 in their first season in the Century Division (with the Browns, Giants and Steelers).

The Cardinals last appearance in the playoffs was as a Wild Card team in 1998 when they beat the Cowboys 20-7 in Dallas before losing to Minnesota 41-21 during the divisional weekend.

The Cardinals will face the Falcons who, at 11-5 under first-year head coach Mike Smith, have made an impressive turnaround from last season’s 4-12 finish. The Falcons are led by rookie quarterback Matt Ryan and the NFL’s second rated rushing attack fueled by dynamic running backs Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood. The Falcons enter the game as a Wild Card coming from the NFC South.

The Cardinals and Falcons are two of the five 2008 NFC playoff teams that did not reach the postseason in 2007. The winner of this week’s matchup will move on to the Divisional Playoffs next weekend where they will face the winner of the Minnesota-Philadelphia matchup taking place this Sunday.

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