8:15 PM ET, January 10, 2009
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Arizona Cardinals were considered the softest team in the playoffs, unable to win far from home and carrying the scars of years of ineptitude.But behind their cagey quarterback, dynamic receiver, improved defense -- and a big assist from Jake Delhomme's horrible night -- the Cardinals are a win away from the unthinkable: a berth in the Super Bowl.
The Panthers' 20-point loss to the Cardinals marked the worst home playoff loss by a No. 2 seed since 1990, when the NFL expanded its postseason format to include 12 teams. Here's the look:
The Panthers secondary couldn't stop Cardinals wideout Larry Fitzgerald this season. Fitzgerald, along with Marques Colston and Antonio Bryant, was one of three receivers to have a 100-yard game against the Panthers in the regular season, and he did it again Saturday night.
|Yards per catch||18.7|
Fitzgerald broke Roy Green's playoff yards receiving record of 113 set in the 1982 playoffs. ... Cardinals TE Stephen Spach left in the fourth quarter with a sprained right knee. ... Panthers reserve LB Landon Johnson was carted off the field with a hip injury late in the first half when he was inadvertently hit by teammate Jon Beason on a tackle.
Team Stat Comparison
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||4.7||5.3|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|TD||11:56||Jonathan Stewart 9 Yd Run (John Kasay Kick)||0||7|
|TD||02:43||Tim Hightower 3 Yd Pass From Kurt Warner (Neil Rackers Kick)||7||7|
|TD||01:47||Edgerrin James 4 Yd Run (Neil Rackers Kick)||14||7|
|FG||10:16||Neil Rackers 49 Yd||17||7|
|FG||05:28||Neil Rackers 30 Yd||20||7|
|TD||03:32||Larry Fitzgerald 29 Yd Pass From Kurt Warner (Neil Rackers Kick)||27||7|
|FG||04:40||Neil Rackers 33 Yd||30||7|
|FG||03:10||Neil Rackers 20 Yd||33||7|
|TD||00:50||Steve Smith 8 Yd Pass From Jake Delhomme (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed)||33||13|