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Notes From the Cards Playoff Win Over the Falcons

·With the 30-24 win over the Falcons in the Wild Card Game, the Cardinals earned their first home playoff win since 12/28/47 when the Cardinals defeated Philadelphia 28-21 in the NFL Championship Game.

·The win was the first playoff victory for the Cardinals since 1/2/99 when Arizona defeated the Dallas Cowboys 20-7 in an NFC Wild Card game.

·The Cardinals will now move on play an NFC Divisional Game next week. The Cardinals opponent will depend on the outcome of the Eagles-Vikings game being played Sunday, January 4th at 2:30 PM in Minnesota. If the Eagles win, the Cardinals will travel to Carolina to face the Panthers on Saturday, January 10 at 6:15 PM (MST). If the Vikings win, the Cardinals will travel to New York to face the Giants on Sunday, January 11 at 11:00 AM (MST).

·The Cardinals are now 2-0 in home playoff games in franchise history. The only other game played at home was the 12/29/47 win over Philadelphia.

·With 30 points against the Falcons in yesterday’s Wild Card Game, the Cardinals established a new franchise record for points in a postseason game. The Cardinals previous record was 28 points, established vs. Philadelphia on 12/28/47 in the team’s last postseason home game.

·In defeating the Falcons 30-24, the Cardinals held Atlanta, the second-best rushing team in the NFL during the regular season with a 152.7 yards per game average, to just 60 yards rushing on 24 carries, an average of 2.5 yards per carry. Atlanta running back Michael Turner was the NFL’s #2 rusher and ran for 1,699 yards during the regular season but was held to 42 yards on 18 carries, a 2.3 yards per rush average.

·Of the Cardinals 22 starters on both sides of the ball, 16 made their playoff debut against the Falcons. That list included: Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, Steve Breaston, Mike Gandy, Reggie Wells, Lyle Sendlein, Deuce Lutui and Levi Brown on offense and Darnell Dockett, Bertrand Berry, Gerald Hayes, Karlos Dansby, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Adrian Wilson, Antrel Rolle and Aaron Francisco.

THIS SEASON THE CARDINALS ARE:

7-2 in home games

8-0 in games they are leading after the third quarter

9-0 in game they break even or hold an advantage in the turnover battle

6-1 in games played indoors

7-2 in games they score first

FIRST HALF TOUCHDOWNS AMONG LONGEST IN TEAM PLAYOFF HISTORY

·The Cardinals had two TD receptions of 40+ yards in the first half against the Falcons that were among the longest in franchise playoff history. Kurt Warner connected on a 42-yard yard TD pass to Larry Fitzgerald in the first quarter that ranks as the third-longest pass play in franchise playoff history. Anquan Boldin’s 71-yard TD reception from Kurt Warner in the second quarter was the longest pass play in playoff history for the Cardinals. The previous long was a 59-yard pass from Jake Plummer to Frank Sanders at Dallas on 1/2/99.

Longest Pass Plays—Franchise Postseason History

71tKurt Warner to Anquan Boldin vs. Atlanta, January 3, 2008

59Jake Plummer to Frank Sanders at Dallas, January 2, 1999

42tKurt Warner to Larry Fitzgerald vs. Atlanta, January 3, 2008

39Jake Plummer to Adrian Murrell at Minnesota, January 10, 1999

·Boldin’s 71-yard TD reception was the fourth-longest reception in Wild Card playoff history.

Longest Touchdown Pass Plays—Wild Card Playoff History

87 Brandon Stokely from Peyton Manning, 1/4/04, Den @ Ind

77 Jerricho Cotchery from Chad Pennington, 1/7/07, NYJ @ NE

76 Terrell Owens from Jeff Garcia, 1/5/03, NYG @ SF

71 Anquan Boldin vs. Atlanta, January 3, 2008

CARDS PRESSURE ATLANTA’S ROOKIE QB MATT RYAN AND STOP RB MICHAEL TURNER

·The Cardinals were able to apply pressure to Atlanta’s rookie quarterback Matt Ryan. The regular season’s Offensive Rookie of the Year was sacked three times by the Cardinals, one which resulted in a safety. It was the just the third time this season that Ryan was sacked at least three times. He had only been sacked a total of five times in the final eight regular season games. The Cardinals also intercepted Ryan twice and recovered his botched exchange with RB Michael Turner. It was just the third time this season that Ryan had committed three or more turnovers.

·The Cardinals defense held Atlanta running back Michael Turner to just 42 yards rushing on 18 carries. Turner finished the regular season with 1,699 rushing yards, the second-highest total in the NFL. Turner’s 42 rushing yards matched his season low, when he rushed for 42 yards on 14 carries at Tampa Bay in the second week of the season. His 2.3 yards per carry average ranked as his second lowest average of the season and his lowest average in the last 10 games. He averaged 2.2 yards per carry (25 att., 54 yards) vs. Chicago on 10/12/08.

·The Cardinals did not allow a sack against the Falcons which included shuttingdown Atlanta’s John Abraham, who finished the regular season with 16.5 sacks, the second-highest total in the NFC and the third-highest total in the NFL.

CARDS GET FIRST DEFENSIVE TOUCHDOWN IN THE POSTSEASON

·Antrel Rolle recovered a botched handoff between Falcons QB Matt Ryan and RB Michael Turner in the third quarter and returned it 27 yards for a TD. His fumble recovery for a TD was the first defensive touchdown in Cardinals postseason history.

·Rolle’s fumble recovery for a TD was the first defensive touchdown in Cardinals postseason history.

·It was the first fumble recovery of Rolle’s career. He has now scored five TDs on nine total turnovers. He has scored four TDs on his eight career interceptions and added his 27-yard TD on the fumble against the Falcons.

·Larry Fitzgerald finished yesterday’s game with six receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown. Fitzgerald became just the second receiver in franchise history to record 100 yards receiving in a postseason game. The only other Cardinal player to record 100 yards receiving in a playoff game was Roy Green who totaled 113 yards receiving at Green Bay on 1/8/83.

·In his first playoff appearance in seven years, Kurt Warner completed 19-of-32 passes for 271 yards, two TDs, one INT and a passer rating of 94.7 against the Falcons.

·Warner now has a 6-2 record in the postseason. In his eight playoff starts, Warner has thrown for:

·Warner improved to 8-1 in his career as a starter against the Falcons.

·Edgerrin James and Tim Hightower provided the Cardinals rushing attack. James rushed for 73 yards on 16 carries (4.6 avg.) while Hightower rushed for 23 yards and a TD on six carries. Going back to the season finale vs. Seattle, James has rushed 30 times for 173 yards in the last two games, an average of 5.8 yards per carry.

·Chike Okeafor’s first quarter sack of Matt Ryan was his third career postseason sack and the third in his last two postseason games. Okeafor had two sacks of Rams QB Marc Bulger while with the Seattle Seahawks when they took on St. Louis on 1/8/05.

·Rookie cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie recorded his fifth interception of the season against the Falcons. It was his fifth interception in the last eight games and since earning the starting cornerback position in the eighth game of the season, Rodgers-Cromartie has five interceptions in 10 games as a starting cornerback.

·Ralph Brown’s first quarter interception of Falcons QB Matt Ryan gives him two interceptions in three career playoff games. As a member of the Vikings, Brown recorded an interception in his first career playoff game, an NFC Wild Card Game at Green Bay on 1/9/05. Going back to the regular season finale against the Seahawks, Brown now has an INT in each of his last two games.

·Punter Ben Graham was a late addition to the Cardinals roster who signed with the team on 12/1/08. His addition paid off for the Cardinals in the playoff game vs. the Falcons. Of Graham’s six punts on the day, he pinned four of them inside the Falcons 20-yard line. Graham had punts downed at the Falcons 7, 8 and 3-yard lines during the game. The punt that was downed at 3-yard line was originally marked at the 6-yard line but a Falcons penalty brought it back to the 3. Cardinals defensive tackle Antonio Smith sacked Atlanta QB Matt Ryan for a safety on the next play.

·Tight end Stephen Spach, also a late addition to the Cardinals roster who signed on 10/28/08, recorded career-highs with three receptions for 34 yards. Spach’s 23-yard reception on 3rd-and-16 on the Cardinals final drive in the fourth quarter iced the game for the Cardinals, who were then able to run out the clock with three kneel downs.


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