Top-5 Reasons Cardinals Defeated Eagles

Larry Fitzgerald (Chris Graythen/Getty)

The Cardinals have done the improbable. To the ire of those who called them the "worst playoff team in history", they have made all of those doubters eat crow. They continue to surprise with their run defense, and Larry Fitzgerald looks unstoppable. After defeating the favored Eagles, AZRedReport has the top-five reasons behind the victory.

5. "The Ageless One" Kurt Warner: No other quarterback in history has been able to throw four touchdowns in a game, and then head over to Denny's for a senior discount. Warner has become the stable presence that was so desperately needed in the Cardinals' locker room over the past 61 years of futility. As Donovan McNabb continued his succession of play off choke jobs, Warner proved that is still an elite quarterback. With a win on February 1st, his place in Canton is all but set.

4. Larry Fitzgerald: Best receiver in the National Football League. There is no way to argue. He is all around the most you can possibly get for your money in the NFL. Great attitude, amazing hands, decent speed, and Jordan-esque leaping ability put Fitz at the forefront. Steve Smith punched a teammate, Terrell Owens has enough issues to fill an entire column, and Randy Moss plays full speed about fifty percent of the time. Oh, and another minor detail, he had three touchdowns before halftime last week.

3. Clutch Plays: Once know for their inability to win games during the regular season, the Cardinals have erased a lifetime of futility in three weeks. When the Eagles stormed back, the stadium was reeling. Warner calmly drove the Cardinals down for a score on what is arguably the most important drive in franchise history. Tim Hightower capped it with a "there is no way anybody is stopping me" screen for a score. The Cardinals are hungry and if Warner keeps channeling Joe Montana, there may be much more to celebrate in the desert.

2. Ken Whisenhunt and Todd Haley: The Cardinals were able to put 32 points on the defensive genius Jim Johnson. That is no easy feat, as the Eagles had not allowed a passing touchdown since week 10 against the Giants. They also had not allowed an opponent to score on their first drive during the entire post season. Warner ended both of those streaks with one pass. Much of the Cardinals' success stems from the attitude and decision making of these skilled coaches.

1. Playing for Respect: As long as the Cardinals continue to be disrespected, they will continue to play with a chip on their shoulder. Coach Whisenhunt has instilled a passion in this team that is unmatched by any other franchise during these playoffs. Playing as constant underdogs, they strive to show the experts just how smart they actually are. With the Steelers opening as 7-point favorites, expect the Cardinals to once again play with a purpose. One more win will finally silence the critics for good.

Tyson Qualls can be reached at tyson29@hotmail.com

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