Big Underdog Arizona Stuns Carolina, 33-13

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 10, 2009 10:44 PM CST
Arizona Cardinals' Tim Hightower (34) runs past Carolina Panthers' Jon Beason, left, and Ken Lucas, back right, for a touchdown during the first quarter.    (Rick Havner)
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(Newser) – The Arizona Cardinals were expected by most to be easy prey in another futile trip to the East Coast. Instead, the Cardinals are a victory away from their first Super Bowl appearance—with a big assist from Jake Delhomme and the bumbling Carolina Panthers. The once discarded Kurt Warner was steady in a 33-13 rout of the Panthers, throwing two touchdown passes, while Delhomme threw five interceptions and lost a fumble.

The Cardinals were nearly 10-point underdogs, and few gave them a shot at winning on the road against dominant Carolina. After the Panthers went up 7-0 on the opening drive, it seemed the experts were right. But Arizona answered immediately, led 27-7 at half, and never let the Panthers back in the game. They will play either Philadelphia or the Giants next week for the NFC championship.