NFC West: nfc first look division

First look: Cardinals-Panthers

January, 4, 2009

Posted by's Mike Sando

No. 4 seed Arizona Cardinals (10-7) at No. 2 seed Carolina Panthers (12-4), Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET

PHOENIX -- The Panthers might not recognize the Cardinals when Arizona visits Carolina in the divisional round Saturday at 8:15 p.m. ET.

Kurt Warner and the Cardinals' passing game were at the peak of their aerial powers when Carolina overcame a 17-3 deficit to beat Arizona, 27-23, during a Week 8 game at Bank of America Stadium. Warner completed 35 of 49 passes for 381 yards and two touchdowns as Arizona made no apologies for ignoring its then-struggling ground game.

For Arizona, that game marked receiver Anquan Boldin's return from facial injuries and Edgerrin James' final start of the 2008 regular season. Injuries were limiting the team's options at tight end, another reason the Cardinals were committing themselves to a wide-open style of offense featuring three or more wide receivers most of the time.

Expect the Cardinals to bring a different type of team to Carolina for the rematch. We break down some of the differences while taking a closer look at what to expect from Arizona:

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