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Cardinals Ready to Rumble in Carolina

The Cardinals are one of eight teams remaining in contention for a trip to Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa. They travel to Carolina this week to face the Panthers in an NFC Divisional matchup at Bank of America Stadium. It is a rematch of the week 8 contest between the clubs that the Panthers won 27-23.

Arizona qualified for the postseason by clinching its first division title since 1975 and the team’s first-ever NFC West crown.

Last week, the Cardinals earned their first home playoff victory in 61 years and their first playoff victory since 1998 when they defeated the Atlanta Falcons 30-24 in front of a frenzied sell-out crowd at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Arizona scored a postseason-record 30 points in the victory and used a balanced offense (32 pass attempts, 28 rushing) and smothering defense to bring down the Falcons.

The Cardinals defense limited Atlanta’s #2 rushing offense to a season-low 60 rushing yards on 24 attempts. RB Michael Turner, the NFL’s second-leading rusher, was held to a season-low 42 yards on 18 attempts. Arizona’s defense also forced three turnovers on the day, including a fumble recovery that Antrel Rolle returned 27 yards for a TD in the third quarter that gave the Cards the lead for good.

On offense, Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin caught the 2 longest TD passes in team playoff history (42 and 71 yards respectively) while Edgerrin James and Tim Hightower created balance, combining for 96 yards on 22 carries.

The winner of this Saturday’s game will advance to the NFC Championship Game to face the winner of the Eagles-Giants game. With a win, Arizona would head to NY if the Giants win or host the conference title game if Philly is victorious.

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