Will the Desert Cool off the Atlanta Falcons?

The Cardinals will play their first playoff game in 10 years when they host the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have made a complete 360 as well. They finished last year with a 4-12 record and played to an impressive 11-5 in 2008. The Cardinals will need to cool off Atlanta, a team that has won five of its last six games. Here's what we know and what we'll find out for the Wild Card weekend.

San Diego Chargers' Quarterback Philip Rivers described this week's playoff scenario best.

"We're all 0-0 now," Rivers said.

The Cardinals need to carry that same sentiment when they face the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday. The Falcons boast a better record, 11-5, in a better division, the NFC South.

Arizona cemented its crown with a 9-7 finish. But the Cardinals nabbed a perfect 6-0 division record, which brought them to Wild Card Weekend, where anything can happen.

What We Know

--Each team brings a potent offensive attack. One team is a dual threat. The Falcons can get the job done on the ground and in the air, while the Cardinals have one way to execute.

Michael Turner fit right in with the Falcons this season. He capped the season as the league's No. 2 rusher with 152.7 yards per game and 1,699 yards total. He set a franchise record with 17 rushing touchdowns in 16 games.

The Falcons also have WR Roddy White who will join Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl. White will also be a threat.

Arizona is more dangerous than the Falcons, when Kurt Warner looks deep. Warner passed for 292.1 yards a game this season and threw to the fifth teammate receiver threesome in history with 1,000 yards each (Fitzgerald, Boldin and Steve Breaston).

--Believe it or not, the Falcons saw more penalties their way than the Cardinals this year. Atlanta finished fourth in the league with 109, and the Cardinals slipped down to eighth (98), after leading the league last year.

--The Cardinals struggle on the ground, but running the ball against the Falcons might not be a bad idea. Atlanta sits in 25th place in run defense, allowing 127.5 yards per game.

--Both franchises have successfully changed their culture. The Cardinals have an extra year under their cleats with Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt who attempts to erase decades of losing. The Falcons are playing under first-year coach Mike Smith, who has turned the league's attention from Michael Vick to this year's NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, QB Matt Ryan.

--Atlanta and Arizona are two of the five 2008 NFC playoff teams that did not reach the postseason last year.

--Last December's win over the Falcons at University of Phoenix Stadium means jack squat. Everything about the Falcons is different this season.

--The Falcons aren't the greatest on the defensive side of the ball. They rank No. 24 in total yards per game allowed (347.9). The Cardinals sit five spots ahead of the Falcons, allowing 331.5 a game.

What We'll Find Out

--Will Edgerrin James get his chance to shine? The Cardinals are 8-0 when James rushes for 100 yards. He registered his eighth 100-yard game for Arizona in the regular season final against the Seattle Seahawks (100 yards on 14 carries).

--Will the Cardinals choke against another NFC team? They are 7-5 in the conference, of which six wins are NFC West victories.

--Can the Cardinals contain Michael Turner? They didn't do such a hot job refraining Adrian Peterson from running up 165 yards when the Minnesota Vikings visited Arizona.

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