Report Card: Cardinals vs Atlanta Falcons
Ken Whisenhunt (Jeff Gross/Getty)
Ken Whisenhunt (Jeff Gross/Getty)

Posted Jan 6, 2009

The Cardinals switched it up more than ever when they hosted the Atlanta Falcons in Wild Card weekend. Find out how their schemes were graded.

PASSING OFFENSE: A - QB Kurt Warner didn't throw as much as usual but he had touchdown passes of 71 and 42 yards. He was sacked once and his only interception came on a ball that should have been caught.

RUSHING OFFENSE A - The Cardinals have struggled so much this season that an 86-yard day merits a high grade. The run game was productive with Edgerrin James averaging 4.6 yards a carry. He finished with 73 yards.

PASS DEFENSE: A - The Cardinals made Matt Ryan look like a rookie, intercepting him twice and sacking him three times. They gave receiver Roddy White a big cushion, but his 11 catches produced just 84 yards.

RUSH DEFENSE: A - The Cardinals were disciplined and physical. They missed few tackles and held the Falcons to 60 yards rushing, including just six in the second half. Michael Turner gained only 42 yards on 18 carries.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A - The coverage teams were excellent, and punter Ben Graham put four kicks inside the Falcons' 20 and three of those were inside the 10. Kicker Neil Rackers missed a 51-yard field goal.

COACHING: A - The game plans on both sides of the ball were excellent. Defensively, the Cardinals changed things up by using different looks along the line. On offense, it made good sense to continue to call runs, and the decision to throw at the end of the game was bold.

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P Ben Graham (profile)
RB Edgerrin James (profile)
QB Kurt Warner (profile)
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