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NFL PLAYOFFS | STEELERS NEWS | CARDINALS NEWS | SUPER BOWL HISTORY

A closer look at the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals, who meet on Sunday, Feb. 1 in Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa, Fla. (6pm ET/NBC).


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WARD WATCH: Pittsburgh's leading receiver, Hines Ward sustained an MCL sprain during Pittsburgh's 23-14 victory over Baltimore in the AFC championship game and did not return after the opening quarter. Ward dismissed the notion that he could potentially miss Sunday's Super Bowl, claiming that he plans to receive "constant treatment."


RUSHING RALLY: Edgerrin James, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards the previous two seasons with the Cardinals, was benched after a Week 8 loss to Carolina. Arizona's running game then deteriorated into the NFL's worst. With one game left in the regular season, James returned to the starting lineup and has totaled 203 rushing yards during the postseason.

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STEELERS OFFENSE
QB Ben Roethlisberger Byron Leftwich
WR1 Hines Ward Nate Washington
WR2 Santonio Holmes Limas Sweed
RB Willie Parker Mewelde Moore
FB Carey Davis
TE Heath Miller Matt Spaeth
LT Max Starks Tony Hills
LG Chris Kemoeatu Jeremy Parquet
C Justin Hartwig
RG Darnell Stapleton Trai Essex
RT Willie Colon Jason Capizzi
STEELERS DEFENSE
DLE Aaron Smith Travis Kirschke
NT Casey Hampton Chris Hoke
DRE Brett Keisel Nick Eason
LOLB LaMarr Woodley Andre Frazier
LILB James Farrior Keyaron Fox
RILB James Harrison Bruce Davis
ROLB Larry Foote Lawrence Timmons
LCB Ike Taylor William Gay
RCB Deshea Townsend Bryant McFadden
SS Troy Polamalu Tyrone Carter
FS Ryan Clark Anthony Smith
STEELERS SPECIALISTS
K Jeff Reed
P Mitch Berger
KR Mewelde Moore Gary Russell
PR Mewelde Moore Santonio Holmes
LS Jared Retkofsky
H Mitch Berger
MISC Anthony Madison Patrick Bailey

CARDINALS OFFENSE
QB Kurt Warner Matt Leinart
WR1 Larry Fitzgerald Jerheme Urban
WR2 Anquan Boldin Steve Breaston
RB Tim Hightower Edgerrin James
FB Terrelle Smith Tim Castille
TE Leonard Pope Ben Patrick
LT Mike Gandy Brandon Keith
LG Reggie Wells
C Lyle Sendlein Pat Ross
RG Deuce Lutui Elton Brown
RT Levi Brown Elliot Vallejo
CARDINALS DEFENSE
DLE Antonio Smith Kenny Iwebema
DRE Travis LaBoy Bertrand Berry
LCB Roderick Hood Ralph Brown
RCB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie Eric Green
SS Adrian Wilson Aaron Francisco
FS Antrel Rolle Matt Ware
DLT Bryan Robinson Gabe Watson
DRT Darnell Dockett Calais Campbell
SLB Chike Okeafor Victor Hobson
MLB Gerald Hayes Monty Beisel
WLB Karlos Dansby Pago Togafau
CARDINALS SPECIALISTS
K Neil Rackers
P Ben Graham
KR J.J. Arrington Steve Breaston
PR Steve Breaston Antrel Rolle
LS Nathan Hodel
H Ben Graham
MISC Sean Morey Aaron Francisco

The Steelers D simply dominated, leading the league in fewest points allowed, yards allowed and passing yards allowed. The offense struggled with health and consistency, but QB Ben Roethlisberger made a number of key plays in crucial moments.

Regular Season
Week Opponent Time/Result
1 Houston W 38-17
2 at Cleveland W 10-6
3 at Philadelphia L 6-15
4 Baltimore W 23-20
5 at Jacksonville W 26-21
6 bye --
7 at Cincinnati W 38-10
8 NY Giants L 14-21
9 at Washington W 23-6
10 Indianapolis L 20-24
11 San Diego W 11-10
12 Cincinnati W 27-10
13 at New England W 33-10
14 Dallas W 20-13
15 at Baltimore W 13-9
16 at Tennessee L 14-31
17 Cleveland W 31-0

Pro Bowlers Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin shined throughout but, as has been well documented, the Cardinals commonly came up small against playoff-caliber clubs and were being dubbed by some as "the worst playoff team ever."

Regular Season
Week Opponent Time/Result
1 at San Francisco W 23-13
2 Miami W 31-10
3 at Washington L 17-24
4 at NY Jets L 35-56
5 Buffalo W 41-17
6 Dallas W 30-24
7 bye --
8 at Carolina L 23-27
9 at St. Louis W 34-13
10 San Francisco W 29-24
11 at Seattle W 26-20
12 NY Giants L 29-37
13 at Philadelphia L 20-48
14 St. Louis W 34-10
15 Minnesota L 14-35
16 at New England L 7-47
17 Seattle W 34-21

The defense was less stingy than in the regular season, but still effective and the offense displayed a lot more firepower.

Postseason
Week Opponent Result
Div San Diego W 35-24
Conf Baltimore W 23-14

The offense continued to light up the scoreboard, but the defense looked like a different unit, totally disrupting their foes.

Postseason
Week Opponent Result
WC Atlanta W 30-24
Div at Carolina W 33-13
Conf Philadelphia W 32-25

SOURCE: Yahoo! Sports, PA Sportsticker, Associated Press