Sunday, January 10, 2010
Ravens smash Patriots, Cardinals survive the Pack in OT
The Wild Card playoff games were for the "birds" on Sunday afternoon.
The Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals put on a show late Sunday afternoon in the desert and when it was all over, the teams combined for over 1,000 yards of total offense that saw the Cardinals defeat the Packers, 51-45 in overtime.
The game was highest scoring playoff game in NFL history.
The Cardinals stormed out to a 17-0 lead after the first quarter and led 31-10 early in the third quarter after quarterback Kurt Warner (29 of 33 with 5 TD passes and 379 yards) hit Larry Fitzgerald with a 33-yard scoring pass.
The Packers outscored Arizona 35-10 over the final two quarters as quarterback Aaron Rodgers (28 for 42 with four TD passes and 422 yards) shook off an interception on his first playoff pass attempt to lead the comeback charge for the Pack.
Rodgers hit James Jones for a 30-yard scoring pass to make it 38-31 and when the Packers scored again in the first minute of the final quarter, the game was tied 38-38.
The Cardinals came back to regain the lead on Warner's fifth TD pass of the game and then the Packers tied it again in the final two minutes.
Cardinals' kicker Neil Rackers missed a potential game-winning 34-yard field goal in the closing seconds that sent the game into overtime.
The Packers had the ball first but on third down, Rodgers was stripped of the football and Karlos Dansby picked the ball out of the air and raced 17 yards for the winning score to finally end the madness and send the Cardinals to the Divisional Round against the New Orleans Saints next Saturday. Dallas is at Minnesota on Sunday in the other NFC Divisional playoff game.
The Cardinals rushed for 156 yards compared to just 90 yards rushing for Green Bay.
In the AFC Wild Card Game earlier on Sunday afternoon, the Baltimore Ravens ran over, through and around the New England Patriots to the tune of 234 yards rushing in a 33-14 trouncing that was never even close to being a game.
The Ravens raced ahead 24-0 after the first quarter and never looked back as Ray Rice (22 carries for 159 yards with two TDs) ran 83 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage to set the tone.
Patriots' QB Tom Brady (23 of 42 for 154 yards with two TD passes and three INT) suffered through the worst playoff performance of his career as he threw an interception and the Ravens quickly cashed in with another TD run by LeRon McClain to make it 14-0.
The Ravens added another 10 points to finish the first quarter at 24-0 before Brady finally got the Pats on the board with a TD pass to Julian Edelmann, who was filling in for the injured Wes Welker, to make it 24-7 at halftime.
The second half was just a formality as the Ravens continued to grind it out while Brady was scrambling for his life amid the fierce Ravens' defense.
The Ravens will travel to Indianapolis to face the Colts next Saturday while the New York Jets face the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.