The Arizona Cardinals cruised into the NFC championship game with a stunning victory over the Carolina Panthers on Saturday, the surprise win built on five interceptions from the home quarterback Jake Delhomme. Kurt Warner passed for two touchdowns and the Cardinals' opportunistic defence made Delhomme's 34th birthday a miserable one. "The defence played great, the offensive line played tremendous. We ran the ball, we were able to throw the ball, big plays everywhere," Warner said. "It was a team effort and that's the only way you win at this level."
Arizona, the NFC West champion, will play the winners of last night's game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants for the conference title next Sunday. Carolina took the lead through a Jonathan Stewart touchdown, before Arizona scored 33 unanswered points. Twenty-six of the points came after turnovers by Delhomme, and Warner threw touchdown passes to Larry Fitzgerald and Tim Hightower, while Edgerrin James also scored and Neil Rackers added four field goals.
Steve Smith scored a late consolation touchdown for Carolina. * Reuters