Atlanta Falcons at Arizona Cardinals
OffenseAtlanta RB Michael Turner was second in the league in rushing with 1,699 yards during the regular season. But the Falcons certainly aren't one-dimensional on offense. QB Matt Ryan, named the NFL offensive rookie of the year, was the league's 11th-rated passer, and WR Roddy White ranked fourth in the NFL in receiving yards with 1,382. ..... Arizona Pro Bowl QB Kurt Warner throws the ball to Pro Bowl WRs Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald. That's the formula that enabled Warner to throw for nearly 4,600 yards this season. Third WR Steve Breaston also is dangerous.
The Falcons will need DE John Abraham, third in the league during the regular season with 1661/27 sacks, to get to Warner and force him into mistakes. Atlanta ranked only 24th in the NFL in total defense but was a respectable 11th in scoring defense. ..... Arizona ranked 28th in the league in scoring defense, permitting 26.6 points per game. The Cardinals were 16th against the run, allowing 110.2 yards per game. They were more vulnerable against the pass, surrendering 221.2 yards per game (22nd).
Special TeamsFalcons PK Jason Elam missed only two field goals all season, going 29 for 31. Arizona's Neil Rackers was almost as good, going 25 for 28. The Cardinals' Sean Morey made the Pro Bowl on special teams.
CoachingThe Falcons' Mike Smith and the Cardinals' Ken Whisenhunt make their playoff debuts as head coaches. Smith is a top NFL coach of the year candidate after going 11-5 as a rookie. Whisenhunt last was in the postseason as the Steelers' offensive coordinator. He called the trick play that resulted in a touchdown pass from Antwaan Randle El to fellow WR Hines Ward that sealed the Steelers' Super Bowl triumph to close the 2005 season.
WHEN: Sunday, 4:30 p.m.
WHERE: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz. (65,000)
WEATHER: Sunny, mid-60s
TV:WRC (Channel 4), WBAL (Channel 11)
RADIO: WWXT (92.7 FM), WWXX (94.3 FM), WTEM (980 AM).
RECORDS: Falcons (11-5, wild card); Cardinals (9-7, NFC West champion)
ANNOUNCERS: Tom Hammond, Cris Collinsworth, Tiki Barber (field reporter)
FALCONS' Team Stats
CARDINALS' Team Stats
Saturday, Jan. 3
Atlanta at Arizona, 4:30 p.m. (NBC)
Indianapolis at San Diego, 8 p.m. (NBC)
Sunday, Jan. 4
Baltimore at Miami, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Philadelphia at Minnesota, 4:30 p.m. (FOX)
Saturday, Jan. 10
San Diego, Indianapolis or Baltimore at Tennessee, 4:30 p.m. (CBS)
Minnesota, Arizona or Atlanta at Carolina, 8:15 p.m. (FOX)
Sunday, Jan. 11
Philadelphia, Arizona or Atlanta at N.Y. Giants, 1 p.m. (FOX)
San Diego, Indianapolis or Miami at Pittsburgh, 4:45 p.m. (CBS)
Sunday, Jan. 18
NFC (FOX), 3 p.m.
AFC (CBS), 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 1
AFC vs. NFC, 6 p.m. (NBC)