Arizona: Grading a Championship Performance

Posted Jan 20, 2009

The Arizona Cardinals made history with a win over the Philadelphia Eagles, which advanced them to the Super Bowl. But are there still problematic areas that need to be addressed before Tampa Bay?


PASSING OFFENSE: A - The Cardinals passed for four touchdowns, and quarterback Kurt Warner was efficient in combating the Eagles' pressure schemes. He was sacked twice but did not have an interception.

RUSHING OFFENSE B-plus - The Cardinals rushed for 102 yards and averaged 3.5 yards a carry. For them, that's a stellar day. Edgerrin James continues to impress, gaining 73 yards on 16 carries, including a 22-yard run.

PASS DEFENSE: C - Quarterback Donovan McNabb passed for 375 yards and three touchdowns, and the Eagles had plays of 62, 50 and 31 yards. The Cardinals had one interception but gave up too many big plays.

RUSH DEFENSE: B - The Eagles were effective, gaining 97 yards and averaging 5.4 yards a carry. But starting running back Brian Westbrook had just 45 of those yards.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B - Kicker Neil Rackers made his only field-goal attempt and the coverage teams were solid. Punter Ben Graham toughed it out, kicking with a sore groin.

COACHING: A - Good game plans on both sides of the ball. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley put together a nice package to handle the blitz, and defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast gave the Eagles a variety of looks.

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RB Edgerrin James (profile)
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