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Super Bowl Sunday is finally here. The most anticipated sporting event of the year will kick off at approximately 6:20 Sunday night live from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Highlighting the spectacular event is the NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals and the AFC Champs the Pittsburgh Steelers. Arizona has been the underdog throughout the post season, but despite the long odds they have battled their way to earn their first Super Bowl appearance in franchise history. On the other side of the field, the Pittsburgh Steelers are in seek of their 6th Super Bowl victory that would become the most in NFL history. Pittsburgh has the early edge in terms of the betting lines with the majority of sports books holding the Steelers as a touchdown favorite over the Cardinals. Arizona will have the luxury of being an underdog once again as they seek to surprise the world one final time.
The NFC Championship will host two unlikely opponents when the number 6 seeded Philadelphia Eagles travel to Phoenix to take on the number 5 seeded Arizona Cardinals. The game marks the first home playoff game for the Cardinals since 1947 and will give them the opportunity to earn their first ever Super Bowl trip.
NFC Division Playoff action will kick off primetime Saturday night when the Carolina Panthers host the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals captured a big home victory last week over the Atlanta Falcons 30-24 and look to keep the momentum going. Carolina closed out the season as strong as any in the NFC winning 8 of their last 10 games and they will try to prove they are the team to beat in the NFC.
The Arizona Cardinals get the luxury of hosting the first game of the 2009 Playoffs when they take on the Atlanta Falcons. Arizona captured the #4 seed with a final record of 9-7 benefiting from a poor NFC West. Atlanta finished at a mark of 11-5, but that was only good enough for a wildcard spot considering they finished 2nd in their division behind the Carolina Panthers.
The Arizona Cardinals may have clinched the NFC West and a playoff spot but they are not going to be resting players this week against the Minnesota Vikings. “We’ve got to improve our seed,” Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “That’s the first and foremost thing. … That’s what these next three weeks are about; putting ourselves in the best position we can going into the playoffs. We can officially now say we’re in the playoffs. Now we want to get into the best spot that we can.”
The Philadelphia Eagles will try and save their season as they host the Arizona Cardinals on Thanksgiving night. Philadelphia is in desperate need of a victory if they hope to stay in the playoff race but it won’t be easy as they host Kurt Warner and the Arizona Cardinals. The Eagles have played very poorly in recent weeks, especially quarterback Donovan McNabb who was benched last week for the first time in his career. McNabb will get the start though on Thursday.
Two teams that are almost assuredly headed for the playoffs meet on Sunday as the Arizona Cardinals host the New York Giants. New York is running away with the NFC East while the Cardinals have virtually clinched the NFC West. Both teams come into the game on a roll as the Giants routed Baltimore last week for their fifth straight win while Arizona took out Seattle. The Giants come into the game with the NFL’s best running attack while the Cardinals have the league’s second best passing attack.
The NFC West takes the spotlight on Monday Night Football this week as the Arizona Cardinals host the San Francisco 49ers. The Cardinals have done their part this season going 5-3 but the 49ers have not, going 2-6. The Cardinals are the only team in the NFC West with a winning record and they are heavily favored on Monday to notch another victory.
Two veteran quarterbacks matchup on Sunday as Brett Favre and the New York Jets host Kurt Warner and the Arizona Cardinals. Both quarterbacks have won Super Bowls and both hope to get back there before retiring. Warner has looked good this season leading Arizona to a 2-1 record while Favre has been up and down in the Jets 1-2 start.