What a good old-fashioned shootout between the Cardinals and Packers! The 96 combined points is a new NFL playoff record and for the Packers it was a double whammy-- most playoff points scored in their storied history and most playoff points allowed in their storied history.
And what's amazing--
Cardinals' QB Kurt Warner is still getting it done after all these years. It seems like "the greatest show on turf" follows him wherever he goes. Critics can say what they want about Warner, but when it comes to playoff football-- the man is money!
Some of Warner's career highlights:
- Warner has a 9-3 career playoff record.
- 31 touchdowns in 12 playoff games.
- Led the St. Louis Rams to 2 Super Bowls.
- 2-time NFL MVP (1999, 2001)
- Led the Cardinals to their first Super Bowl in franchise history last season.
My gut feeling is-- watch out NFC, the Cards' are on a mission. I'm sure that losing such a close Super Bowl last year (27-23 to the Pittsburgh Steelers) was a tough pill to swallow and they desperately want to return to the big game.
A quick "shoutout" to Packers' QB Aaron Rodgers. In his playoff debut he went toe-to-toe with the old general. Rodgers was 28-42 for 422 yards (Packers' record) and 4 TDs.
As for the game, the biggest irony was that in a game completely dominated by offense, it was the Arizona defense who scored the winning touchdown in OT. I guess its the least they could have done after giving up so many points to Green Bay.
And as for Warner, his story has become legendary. Coincidentally, he began his career on the Packers practice squad in 1994. But the Packers cut him, saying, he was not ready to be an NFL quarterback-- and besides who back then was going to take away the job from Brett Favre? Anyway, legend has it that Warner, with nowhere else to go, got a gig in a local grocery store stocking shelves for $5.50 an hour. Then he went on to play in the Arena Football League and NFL Europe until finally landing a job as a third-string quarterback with the Rams.
I guess we can say, the rest is history. Amazing!
I have to give the man credit-- he has incredible perseverance. He just may be the first player to go from working in the local grocery store all the way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Next up: New Orleans. Watch out Saints!
My prediction: Arizona 38 - New Orleans 27
....And guess who Warner may just be dueling with in the NFC Championship Game? You guessed it-- Brett Favre. Next week should be interesting.
To be continued....
Photos courtesy of the AP