Quick Take: Cards outlast Falcons to advance

It was over when ...
Cardinals QB Kurt Warner hit TE Stephen Spach over the middle for 23 yards on third-and-16 with 2:16 left. The crucial first down prevented the Falcons from attempting a potential winning drive and preserved the Cardinals' first home playoff win since 1947.

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Arizona's defense harassed Atlanta rookie QB Matt Ryan the entire game and held the Falcons' second-ranked rushing attack to just 60 yards. The unit collected three sacks, two interceptions, returned a fumble for a touchdown and had a safety.

Key stat
The Falcons outscored their opponents 234-139 in the first half during the regular season but were outscored by opponents 186-154 in the second half. True to form, the Falcons held the lead at halftime but opened the third quarter with a series of mistakes and allowed the Cardinals to score 16 unanswered points in the second half.

Matt Ryan's 26 completions set a new rookie record in a postseason game. ... Cardinals wide receiver Anquan Boldin suffered a hamstring injury on his 71-yard touchdown reception and did not return. ... Cardinals CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie picked up his fourth interception of the season. ... The Falcons have lost their last three playoff road games. ... The Cardinals are now 7-2 at home this season and 13-4 under coach Ken Whisenhunt.

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