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Old 01-21-2009, 11:31 AM   #1
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NOTES FROM THE CARDINALS 32-25 WIN OVER THE EAGLES

IN THE NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME



CARDINALS WIN FIRST-EVER NFC TITLE AND EARN TRIP TO SUPER BOWL XLIII

The Cardinals earned their first-ever Super Bowl appearance when they defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 32-25 in the NFC Championship Game at University of Phoenix Stadium.



The Cardinals became the first-ever #4 seed from the NFC to advance to the Super Bowl



With the victory over the Eagles, the Cardinals are now riding a four-game winning streak. It is the longest winning streak in a single-season since winning four in a row in 1999.



Prior to facing the Cardinals in the NFC Championship game, the Eagles had not given up a passing TD in their previous five games dating back to 12/7/08 against the NY Giants. Kurt Warner threw four TD passes against the Eagles.



The Cardinals forced three more turnovers in the game against the Eagles, giving them 12 in three postseason games. The Cardinals now have a plus-nine turnover ratio in the playoffs.



Before the Cardinals scored a TD on the first drive of the game, the Eagles had not allowed a TD in the first quarter in their previous nine contests, dating back to 11/9/08 against the NY Giants.



For the fourth consecutive week dating back to the season finale against Seattle, the Cardinals outrushed their opponent and for the second-consecutive week, rushed for over 100 yards in the game. The Cardinals never rushed for 100 yards in back-to-back games during the 2008 regular season. The last time they ran for 100 yards in consecutive weeks was in the first two games of the 2007 season.



THE FINAL TD DRIVE

After giving up 19 unanswered points the second half, going from a 24-6 lead to a 25-24 deficit, the Cardinals stamped their ticket to the Super Bowl with an impressive 14-play drive that consumed 7:52 off the clock and culminated in an eight-yard TD pass from Kurt Warner to Tim Hightower with 2:53 remaining. Warner hit TE Ben Patrick for the two-point conversion, giving the Cardinals a 32-25 lead.

The Cardinals rushed nine times and passed five times on the drive.

Warner connected on five-of-five passes for 56 yards on the drive, including the eight-yard TD pass to Hightower on third down.

The Cardinals successfully converted two third down attempts and one fourth down attempt on the drive. Tim Hightower was responsible for all three conversion-two on the ground and one through the air on the TD.

After losing the lead, the Cardinals held the ball for 11:34 in the fourth quarter to seal the win.



This season, the Cardinals are now:

8-2 in home games

10-0 in games they are leading after the third quarter

11-0 in game they break even or hold an advantage in the turnover battle

7-1 in games played indoors

8-2 in games they score first



FITZGERALD SETS PLAYOFF RECORDS

Larry Fitzgerald totaled 9 receptions for 152 yards and three TDs against the Eagles, giving him 23 receptions for 419 yards and five TDs in three postseason contests. His 419 receiving yards established a new NFL record for receiving yards in a single postseason, surpassing the 409 yards that Jerry Rice amassed in the 1988 postseason with San Francisco.



Most Receiving Yards In a Single Postseason

Yards Player, Team (Year)

419 Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona (2008)

409 Jerry Rice, San Francisco (1988)

404 Steve Smith, Carolina (2003)

401 Charlie Brown, Washington (1983)

391 Anthony Carter, Minnesota (391)



With 419 receiving yards in his first three career playoff games, Fitzgerald now has more receiving yards in his first playoff contests than any receiver in NFL history, moving passed Anthony Carter, who had 391 yards in his first three postseason games during the 1987 season with Minnesota.



Most Yards In First Three Playoff Games

Player (Team) Season(s) Yds YPG

Larry Fitzgerald (AZ) 2008 419 139.7

Anthony Carter (Min) 1987 391 130.3

Tom Fears (L.A. Rams) 1949-50 349 116.3

Wesley Walker (NY Jets) 1981-82 338 112.7

Darrell Jackson (Sea) 2003-05 329 109.7

Steve Smith (Car) 2003 324 108.0



Fitzgerald has now recorded five consecutive 100-yard receiving games dating back to the final two games of the regular season. His three consecutive 100-yard games in the postseason ties the NFL record for consecutive 100-yard games in the postseason, equaling Tom Fears (1950-51), Jerry Rice (1988-89) and Randy Moss (1999-2000).



Most Consecutive 100-Yard Receiving Games (Career Postseason)

Games Player, Team (Years)

3 Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona (2008)

Tom Fears, Los Angeles (1950-01)

Jerry Rice, San Francisco (1988-89)

Randy Moss, Minnesota (1999-2000)



With his three TD receptions in the first half, Fitzgerald tied the NFL record for most TDs in a game, a record he now shares with five other players.



Most Touchdowns, Game

TDs Player (Game)

3 Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona vs. Philadelphia, 2008 (all receiving)

Otto Graham, Cleveland vs. Detroit, 1964 (all rushing)

Gary Collins, Cleveland vs. Baltimore, 1964 (all receiving)

Tom Matte, Baltimore vs. Cleveland, 1968 (all rushing)

Preston Pearson, Dallas vs. L.A. Rams, 1975 (all receiving)

Emmitt Smith, Dallas vs. Green Bay, 1995 (all rushing)



After leading the Cardinals past the Eagles in the NFC Championship game, Kurt Warner now becomes just the second quarterback in NFL history to lead two different teams to the Super Bowl. The only other QB to accomplish the feat was Craig Morton, who led the Cowboys to Super Bowl V following the 1970 season and the Broncos to Super Bowl XII following the 1977 season.



Warner had one of the best games of his postseason career against the Eagles, connecting on 21-of-28 passes (75.0%) for 279 yards, four TDs and a QB rating of 145.7. It was Warner's 10th career postseason start and he improved his career record to 8-2 in the playoffs.



Warner in the Postseason

Year GP/GS Att Cmp Pct. Yds Yds/Att TD Int Rate

1999 3/3 121 77 63.6 1,063 8.79 8 4 100.0

2000 1/1 40 24 60.0 365 9.13 3 3 83.9

2001 3/3 107 68 63.6 793 7.41 4 3 86.7

2008 3/3 92 61 66.3 770 8.37 8 2 112.1

Total 10/10 360 230 63.9 2,991 8.31 23 12 97.3



In defeating the Eagles, Warner improved to 3-0 in conference championship games, with the last two wins coming over Philadelphia.



Game (Team) Att Com Yds TD INT Rate W/L

1/18/09 vs. Phi (AZ) 28 21 279 4 0 145.7 W

1/27/02 vs. Phi (StL) 33 22 212 0 0 94.5 W

1/23/00 vs. TB (StL) 43 26 258 1 3 56.2 W



With his performance against the Eagles, Warner now has a career postseason QB rating of 97.3, the second-best in NFL history among QBs with at least 150 pass attempts.



Postseason Passer Rating-Min. 150 attempts

Player Att Com Yds TD INT Rate

Bart Starr 213 130 1,753 15 3 104.8

Kurt Warner 360 230 2,991 23 12 97.3

Joe Montana 734 460 5,772 45 21 95.6

Ken Anderson 166 110 1,321 9 6 93.5

Joe Theismann 211 128 1,782 11 7 91.4



Warner's 145.7 passer rating against the Eagles marked his seventh game this season with a passer rating over 100.0.



With the start against the Eagles, Warner became just the seventh quarterback in NFL history to start a conference championship game for two teams in their career. Warner's last conference championship game was in 2001 with the Rams.



QBs That Took Two Teams to Conference Title Games

QB 1st Team (Seasons) 2nd Team (Seasons)

Kurt Warner St. Louis ('99, '01) Arizona ('08)

Kerry Collins Carolina ('96) NY Giants ('00)

Joe Montana San Francisco ('81, '83, '84, '88, '89, '90) Kansas City ('93)

Jay Schroeder Washington ('86) L.A. Raiders ('90)

Doug Williams Tampa Bay ('79) Washington ('87)

Craig Morton Dallas ('70) Denver ('77)

Earl Morrall Baltimore ('68) Miami ('72)



With the win against the Eagles, Warner will now return to the Super Bowl for the first time since Super Bowl XXXVI, a 20-17 loss to New England after the 2001 season. Warner becomes only the third quarterback to start a Super Bowl seven or more years apart.



QBs with 7+ Years Between Super Bowl Appearances

QB Team(s) Seasons Yrs Apart

John Elway Denver 1989, 1997 8

Kurt Warner St. Louis/Arizona 2001, 2008 7

Craig Morton Dallas/Denver 1970, 1977 7



With the 62-yard TD strike from Warner to Fitzgerald, the duo have now connected on three passing plays of 40 yards or more this season and combined with the 71-yard TD pass to Anquan Boldin in the Wild Card game vs. Atlanta, four of the five longest pass plays in franchise postseason history have come this season.



Longest Completion-Franchise Postseason History

71t Kurt Warner to Anquan Boldin vs. Atlanta, January 3, 2009

62t Kurt Warner to Larry Fitzgerald vs. Philadelphia, January 10, 2009

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

42t Kurt Warner to Larry Fitzgerald vs. Atlanta, January 3, 2009

41 Kurt Warner to Larry Fitzgerald at Carolina, January 10, 2009

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



Adrian Wilson led the defense against the Eagles, collecting a team-high seven tackles, two sacks, two tackles-for-a-loss, a pass defensed and a forced fumble. It marked Wilson's first multi-sack game since 9/17/06 vs. Seattle when he sacked QB Matt Hasselbeck twice.
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Old 01-21-2009, 11:39 AM   #2
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Old 01-21-2009, 11:41 AM   #3
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With the victory over the Eagles, the Cardinals are now riding a four-game winning streak. It is the longest winning streak in a single-season since winning four in a row in 1999.

holy crap!
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