Torre Defends His Book On Larry King

Joe Torre was on Larry King Live last night and talked publicly for the first time about his book. As expected Torre backed up everything that was written and justified it. I found nothing wrong with any of his explanations and I have yet to get upset over anything I've heard so far.

Torre said there is no friction between Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter. He also stood behind his comments about A-Rod and the infamous "A-Fraud". He says it was sort of a clubhouse joke and it was right in front of A-Rod all the time. He said A-Rod knew about the "A-Fraud" comments and it should be no surprise to the superstar. He does say that Alex is concerned with being the best on the team but there's nothing wrong with that. He says Alex just puts alot more pressure on himself than he needs to.

Many people also believe he betrayed the trust of his players by writing the book. He says that he agreed to write the book with Tom Verducci while still in pinstripes. He says that the book tells of his time with the Yankees, which includes the final seasons when being manager of the Yankees became a stressful job. He says he told things they way they were, not just including the good times because then it would be a dull book. Again, I find nothing wrong with that explanation. He wrote it to tell the whole story of his time as Yankee manager, not just the Championship years.

Good work by Larry King on the interview. He went straight into the questions and to Torre's credit, he didn't back away. Joe will be doing a book tour this upcoming week here in New York, the recpetion could be a little different but we'll have to wait and see. Torre will on WFAN on Tuesday with Mike Francesa, that should make for a very interesting interview. Did last night's interview sway your opinion of the book and Joe Torre? For me, it didn't do much. I'm still a Torre fan, he'll always be a Yankee to me.


To read a transcript of the interview click HERE
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ChasingRecords Week In Review: Jan26 - 30

Every week we'll try to get you up to speed with this week's hot topics in case you missed them. If you haven't been to the ChasingRecords Forum you should check it out. Not only can you share your thoughts on the New York sports scene, you can talk about whatever you want. Going out this weekend? Tell us where you're going, what are the hot spots to hit? Like the UFC or WWE, we got a place on the Forum just for you too. You name it, and we've got it on the ChasingRecords Forum. So click the link at the bottom of this post and register, it's FREE. You may even win some gifts from the ChasingRecords staff. Hope to see you on the boards!



Here's what you may have missed this week:

Monday: What are feelings towards Joe Torre's new book "The Yankee Years?" HERE
Tuesday:How do you feel about the Yankees Starting Rotation now that Andy Pettitte is back? HERE
Wednesday:Are you a fan of the Winter Season? Were you hit by the Snow Storm today? HERE
Thursday: What is the # 1 reason as to why you can’t exercise on a consistent basis?
Could it be the lack of time, no motivation, your finances, or is it something else? HERE
Friday: What are your plans for the weekend? Are you going to be watching the Super Bowl on Sunday? HERE


We look forward to hearing from you,
--Chasing Records & Full Focus LLC



Share your thoughts on The Forum: www.ChasingRecords.com
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Randy Orton Is ChasingWrestleMania


The road to the promiseland has begun. On Sunday night, the WWE held their annual Royal Rumble pay-per-view. The main event of the evening as always is the Royal Rumble match itself. The winner of the Royal Rumble match is gauranteed a World Championship match at WrestleMania. This year's winner was the "Legend Killer" Randy Orton.

Orton came in the rumble drawing no.8. He immediately went toe to toe with former Evolution member Triple H. Orton waited for his own group "Legacy" to arrive so they could help Orton obtain his goal of winning the rumble and going to WrestleMania 25 in Houston. Ted DiBiase was the first man from Orton's Legacy group to come out at no.10 and went right to the aid of Orton. As the match progressed Orton built momentum. He served numerous RKO's throughout the match. At one point he nailed one on every superstar in the ring. Cody Rhodes, the other member of Legacy came in at no, 15. Legacy combined to eliminate 4 superstars in the match. At one point it took all 3 members of Legacy to eliminate Kane.

The ending of the match saw Legacy and Triple H as the final four. Triple H did his best to survive the 3 on 1 attack. The ending of the match saw Triple H going for the pedigree but couldn't complete it because Orton went for a clothesline and instead was thrown over the top rope. Triple H thought he eliminated Orton but didn't see how Randy saved himself and went back in the ring under the bottom rope. Triple H then elimated both Rhodes and DiBiase but before he was able to turn around Orton snuck up behind him and eliminated him and won the Royal Rumble. Orton is now going to WrestleMania 25 to headline in the main event.

Here are some stats regarding Orton's win:
It was his 1st Royal Rumble win.
Orton eliminated Kane, The Big Show and Triple H.
Orton drew no. 8 and lasted 48:27.

I'll be following Randy Orton's Road to WrestleMania. Does Orton have what it takes to win the gold at WrestleMania? What title will he challenge for? We'll find out in the upcoming weeks as Orton will be ChasingWrestleMania.
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Read The Book, Then Critque

There's a lot to said about the upcoming Joe Torre book, the "Yankee Years". I am looking to obtain a copy of the book hopefully next week and will be able to come up with my own opinion.

I wrote an article for Peter Araham's Yankees blog on Sunday as part of his pinch-hitting series. The article was focusing on Joe Torre's time as Yankees manager. How I thought he did a great job and how we took him for granted while he was here. I had no idea about the upcoming book. The first sounds of the book came around also on Sunday, so it was just a coincidence that my Torre article was posted on the same day the news about Torre's "ant-Yankee" book was released to the public. Now that caused quite a stir on the LoHud Yankees Blog and brought new readers to this site. I thank those that have come and shared their opinions on the matter. I realize that many people became anti-Torre towards the end of his tenure but I think people should read the entire book first before passing judgement on Joe. We have all heard and read different passages from the book, all covering a varitey of topics, David Wells, Kevin Brown, Randy Johnson, Alex Rodriguez, and Brian Cashman.

So far it looks to me Torre just told it the way it was and Tom Verducci wrote it in the book as such. Nothing I've heard has surprised me yet so it'll be interesting to see what else comes to light as a result of this book. I wonder what Torre's response will be when he's interviewed on the matter. Oh man, how quick you can go from hero to goat in this city....only in New York. But please read the book first THEN cast your opinion.


Will you buy the book? Go over to the right and cast your poll on the poll.
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Pettitte's Coming Back

ESPN's Buster Olney is reporting the Yankees are close to a deal that will bring back Andy Pettitte to the Bronx. The deal is a 1 year deal at a $6 million base salary with another $6 million offered in incentives. This could make the deal worth $12 million.

Pettitte will be the 4th or 5th starter for the Yankees this season. The move will now give the Yankees the best rotation in baseball and gives them the pitching depth they lacked last season. Youngsters Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy will be the 6th and 7th starters if any of the starting 5 go down due to innjury. It's certainly a move the Yanks needed to make. I'll have more throughout the day as more details become available.
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He's No Average Joe

**This article can also be found on Peter Abraham's Yankees LoHud Blog**

They say you don't know what you got until it's gone. Boy are they right. 2008 saw a changing of the guard in the Bronx. Joe Torre was no longer leading the men in pinstripes, Joe Girardi was.

After 12 seasons as Yankees manager, Torre had worn out his welcome. We said goodbye to a man that brought pride,power and respect back to the pinstripes. He made Yankee Stadium the place to be again. He gave so many people so many memories. He gave us everything he had. There was that magical '96 season. Or how bout one of the most dominating teams ever in the '98 team. Or what about 2001 when he gave us strength after the 9/11 attacks. He was as much a face of the recovery in New York as anyone was. He gave Aaron Boone an inspirational pep talk in 2003, right before his homerun in Game 7 won the Yankees the A.L. pennant . That was the last great Yankee moment. For all those reasons and more, I thank you Joe.

I thought I wanted change after the 2007 season. Making it to October was something of the norm around here since Torre took over. I expected nothing less, I admit, Joe spoiled me. He was a good manager and he was the right man for the job all along. He got those Yankee teams through the rough times, he got them through the good times, but most importantly, he got them to October. It's no coincidence that the year he leaves, the Yankees fail to make the playoffs and the team he went to go manage for, went to the LCS. After all this time of questioning his ability to manage, it was Joe that got the Yankees that far, not their open checkbook. The way he handled every situation was all in good taste and it was all in the best interest of the Yankees. Some of us just never knew it unil now.

Now that I see Torre in a different city and see how much he is loved out west, makes me want him back in the Bronx. It doesn't feel the same here without him. I grew up to be such a big Yankee fan because of him and what he did for the team and how he made the Yankees a proud organization again. His pinstripe days are behind him now but that's ok. Those memories will last a lifetime. He will always be a Yankee in my book. One day that no. 6 will get retired right along with the other Yankee greats......that's where he belongs.
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Andy Pettitte Has The Public's Support


The fans have spoken. Over on the right you'll see a poll asking whether the Yankees need Andy Pettitte back and so far it's an overwhelming YES. This has also been a hot topic on the ChasingRecords Forum. If you have time you can participate on the poll on the right and visit the Forum to give us your thoughts on the situation. Here are what some people are saying about Andy:


BBall1 says:
I say give him a private deadline where the public never knows. That way he saves face and the Yanks make a class move. Also, I say give him an incentives package that could reach 12 or 13 million with a second year club option for the same package. What do you guys think?

Yankees4613 says:
The longer Andy makes me wait the more difficult it gets Lol I really don't know how confident I am in a deal getting done to be honest. The longer Andy holds out the more I question if he truly wants to come back. I hope he does. Personally I am willing to raise the offer to get him back but I know the Yankees are not and they just hope he realizes that's the best he is going to get and if he really wants to be a Yankee then he needs to take it. I don't really blame Andy though when it comes to the money. Come on, the Yankees have thrown money around like crazy this off season and I understand it's for younger arms etc but Andy has proven he can win in NY. He is a true Yankee.

ChasingRecords Forum says:
::keeping fingers crossed::
I still think Pettitte will come to his senses and sign with the Yankees.


Someone needs to blink in this stalemate and a deal needs to get done. We all want Andy back so hopefully he'll be back in pinstripes in 2009.

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Who's On The Radar Now For The Mets?

What are the Mets waiting for? They don't exactly have a starting rotation like their crosstown rivals. The opportunity to get Derek Lowe came and went this week as Lowe signed a 4 year, $60 million contract with the Atlanta Braves.

Not only did they not get Lowe, but they let him go to another team in the division. $15 million a year is too much money for Lowe, which is why they probably stood back from Lowe but he was the best option available for the Mets, who need pitching. It would've been ok if they overpaid for Lowe simply because he's a solid workhorse. He'll get you 200 innings and about 14 or 15 wins, something the Mets desperately need after Johan Santana in the rotation. Don't forget the Mets are also moving into a new stadium this year and need to put a playoff caliber team on the field, especially after their late season flops in '07 and '08.

The next target is Oliver Perez, who is another Scott Boras client. In other words, they're probably going to overpay for him, so my question is why don't you just do that for Lowe. Perez is too inconsistent to be overpaid. Ben Sheets would be a nice risk for the Mets. I think he would be a better fit for the Mets than he would the Yankees. If Omar Minaya plays his cards right why not get both. If both pitch up to their capability then the Mets should find themselves playing October baseball again. Until then, the waiting game continues.
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Why Are We Bothering With Roger?

Does anyone still really care about Roger Clemens? Do they care if he took steroids? At this point I don't think so. I, for one, don't.

This on-going saga between Clemens and his former personal trainer Brian McNamee is quite frankly played out. It's a waste of time. If McNamee has the proof on Clemens then hand over the evidence and test it. I believe this is where most people draw the line on this case. The rest of the back and forth between both sides is just ridiculous. I want to see this come to a conclusion and have everyone reach a final verdict. Most people believe that Clemens lied to Congress last Febuary when he stated he did NOT take steroids.

Call me crazy but I was on Roger's side and thought he was telling the truth. Well I have since changed my tune. Too many things are going against Clemens that it's hard to believe everything is a coincidence. This whole thing is a mess. Now they've involved convicted steroids dealer Kirk Radomski into the whole ordeal. Radomski says he injected Clemens on several occasions with performance enhancing drugs. Ok but with no evidence, you're side of the story has no credibility.

If the evidence is lying around somewhere, my question is, why isn't it collected and tested? Until that happens we're just wasting our time with Clemens and McNamee.
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Is Jones A Good Fit In NY?

Earlier this week the Dodgers released Andruw Jones. That now makes him a free agent and begs the question, where does he go from here?

The logical answer is going back to the Braves where he played his entire career before last season. But many New York baseball fans have shown interest in bringing Jones aboard to their respective teams. On Yankees Rumors, Bob Ruffolo says he's not sure that's a great idea for the Yanks considering they have guys like Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner as guys yet to reach their potential. I have to agree with Bob on that, although if the Bombers can work out a "cheap" deal with Jones for 1 year I'd say why not. If he bombs out of the Bronx before year's end, then trade him or release him, at least you took a shot. Right now he wouldn't be a good fit for the Yanks because of the surplus of outfielders they already have on the roster.

As for the Mets, it might be a better risk. If Andruw can return to his pre-2008 self the he can help any major league team but on the Mets he would add so much. It would have to be as a corner outfielder though. He surely wouldn't move Carlos Beltran out of center. Jones is familiar with the National League and the NL East. I also think he would like being under manager Jerry Manuel, plus the Latin influence on the Mets is greater than it is with the Yanks.

This is Andruw's make or break season. He is capable of a 40HR 110 RBI season but what the hell happen last year? Did he eat himself out of superstardom? Injuries? Who knows, but he has the chance to bounce back. He has to earn his money again and his reputation as one of the game's best. Let's see what 2009 has in store for Mr Jones.

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Posada Wants In On WBC

The World Baseball Classic starts on March 1 and one that wants to do anything to play in the tournament is Jorge Posada.

Posada's father has said he wants his son Jorge to represent Puerto Rico in the tournament. The Yankees have said they don't want Posada participating because he's coming off of major shoulder surgery. Posada however is saying he wants to play in the WBC.

“This will be my last chance to play for Puerto Rico and I’m very clear on that”.

It would be nice to see Posada represent Puerto Rico in the tournament and as a fellow Puerto Rican, I would love to see it. Hopefully he and the Yanks can work something out, this will likely be Posada's last chance to participate in the WBC because the next tournament is in 2012, he probably won't be an active player at that point.
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Giant Disappointment: Eli and Company Going Home

The Giants played one of their worst games of the season today against the Philadelphia Eagles and won't be repeating as champs.

The 23-11 loss comes as a shock to many as the Giants were thought to give it a better run than this. This is a different season and different team. The day Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg is possibly the day the season ended for the Giants. In the 5 games since the shooting incident on Novemeber 29th, the Giants have lost 4 of them. Burress was an instrumental part of the Giants postseason success last year and his absence proved to be huge. The Eagles move on to the NFC Championship games against the Arizona Cardinals next week for a trip to the Super Bowl at stake.
Eli Manning threw 2 interceptions and nearly a 3rd one late in the 4th quarter. There's no need to go over what happen in the game, the Giants lost. They didn't take advantage of good field position on several occasions, they didn't covert on 2 critcial 4th down coonversions in the 4th quarter.

It was a nice run by the Giants over the last calendar year but now it's over. They can still be a strong team next season but for now, they go home and the rest of the city will wait for April and baseball season. The Giants looked so good for so long this season until the Plax shooting. Blame whoever and whatever you want for this loss, the Giants didn't get the job done. Thanks Eli for a magical run over the last year, now it's time to say goodbye.
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Keep Nady AND Swisher!


The Yankees are looking to trade Xavier Nady, a move that most fans are not too supportive of. It's either trade Nady or Nick Swisher.

Going in Swisher's favor is the fact he's a switch hitter and makes $21 million over the next three seasons as opposed to Nady who will be a free agent at the end of the 2009 season. Nady is also represented by Scott Boras which ultimately means he will walk come season's end because the Yankees probably won't give Nady the money he'll be asking for.

Nady was acquired in late July in 2008 and helped proved pop in the lineup. He was a consistent force in the liuneup behind Alex Rodriguez, especially with the Yanks missing Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada for an extended period of time. The Nationals are the only team that have publicly had interest in both Nady and Swisher. I would take there's more teams in the mix but for right now things are quiet on the trading front.

I personally would like to see the Yanks retain both men and think they should take their chances come next winter with Nady. They do have Matsui and Johnny Damon also coming off the books so they're going to need some outfielders. I trust Brian Cashman so I'm not going to worry. But if we do trade Nady we better get a good pitcher in return.

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Road To Repeat Begings Today


Today the Giants start their defense of their World Championship. They play the Philadelphia Eagles at 1pm at Giants Stadium in a much anticipated match-up. Does Big Blue have enough to repeat as champs? That question begins to get answered today.

The Giants and Eagles have split their two meetings this season. The Giants won in Philly earlier this season in week 10, 36-31. The Eagles beat the Giants in their own home a few weeks ago in week 14 20-14. It'll be interesting to see if the G-men can top last year's unprobable feat. There's no Michael Strahan this year, no Plaxicio Burress, no Osi Umenyiora, no David Tyree. So how can the Giants win today, much less the whole thing? Easy, there's Eli Manning, there's the defense, and they have guys like Kevin Boss, Brandon Jacobs, and Corey Webster that can step up to the plate when the time is right. Granted Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook and company are playing their best football of the year, I don't think their best is enough to overtake the champs.

Eli is going to need a big game if his defense lets him down. Jacobs hopefully is healthy enough to run over the Eagles defense. This one will be close I believe until the end. I would pay special attention to the latter stages of the 4th quarter.

In a season where the Jets and the Mets collapsed at the very end, the Yankees didn't make the playoffs and the NBA teams around here are circling the .500 mark, the Giants are the team to make things happen, just like they did one year ago. This time they might have a tougher road ahead of them but that's the way they like it, that's the way they win, that's the way they plan on repeating as champs.
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Giambi Goes Back To The Bay


Jason Giambi has signed a one year deal with his old team the Oakland A's. Giambi has some juice left in him which should help the A's who are in a dire need of offense. Giambi signed with the Yankees after the 2001 season in hopes of adding power to an offense that struggled mightily during the 2001 World Series. Good luck to Giambi.

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Now Playing For The NY Yankees, No. 25 Mark Teixeira

On Tuesday the Yankees formally introduced Mark Teixeira to the world. Mark put on the pinstripes for the first time with the No. 25 on his back. That's awesome becuase that now turns my old Jason Giambi jersey into a Teixeira jersey.

According to Tex, the Yankees were in the running the whole time and they were in contact all along, yet the only offer made was on December 23rd, the one Mark accepted.

“Once we got the contract figured out, it was a no-brainer for me,” he said.

I'm sure it's not hard to turn down $180 million. A lot of credit should go to Brian Cashman, the Yankees GM. He made a personal visit to Teixeira's home and convinced Mark and his wife Leigh to sign. Mark said his wife was the one who told him New York would be the best fit and so with the wife's approval Mark went ahead and told Cashman he was in. Much thanks to Leigh for making the right call.

Manager Joe Girardi says he will be thrilled to pencil Tex's name into the lineup everyday. Now the questions is, does he bat in front of or behind Alex Rodriguez. It's a good problem to have if you're Girardi and the Yanks.
“Most lineups will hate facing our pitching and most pitching will hate facing our lineup,” Tex says.

Another big day for the Yankees and they may not be done. When asked if they were done with the big signings for the winter, Cashman, Team President Randy Levine, and part owner Hal Steinbrenner all didn't give an answer, which leads us to believe there could still be more help on the way to the Bronx. We'll have to wait and see, but for now, the Yankees can feel very proud of their recent accomplishments, it will certianly put the Yankees as the team to beat in the American League.
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WildCard Week Showdown: Sunday





Sunday Jan 4, 2009






Recap: Chad Pennington threw 4 INTs and the Dolphins turned the ball over 5 times. That pretty much told the story yesterday in Miami.
"We heard all week that they don't turn the ball over," linebacker Ray Lewis said. "But we force turnovers."

Baltimore allowed just 52 yards rushing. The Wildcat formation that helped turn Miami from a 1-15 team to AFC East champs got them all of 7 yards. Joe Flacco was 9-for-23 for 135 yards, which did just enough to get the Ravens to move on.








Recap:
A 71-yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter put the dagger on the Vikings as Philly was able to pull away for the win. Asante Samuel had a 44-yard interception in the 2nd quarter to set the tone of the game. Donovan McNabb, went 23-of-34 passing for 300 yards in Sunday's win.
"I've seen this team have confidence in each other and try to have one another's back," McNabb said. "What you're seeing is a team playing with a lot of energy, playing with emotion and just having fun."
The Eagles will now face the defending Super Bowl Champs in the Giants next week week in Jersey. Since the week 12 2nd half benching of McNabb the Eagles have responded with their best play of the season.
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Joba's Call Is To The Rotation

The great Joba debate begins again. With the recent free agent additions of CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett many have thought that Joba Chamberlain should be moved back into the bullpen to set-up Mariano Rivera. I disagree.

As enticing as Joba would be in the 7th and 8th innings I think he is more valuable as a starter, unless proven otherwise. Peter Abraham also is in favor of starting Joba. My fellow blogger Rob Abruzzesse also agrees with me. He points out a slew of opinions on the matter.

I liked Joba as the set-up man for Mo, but the fact is that with Joba he can be a dominant guy. He outdueled Josh Beckett in Fenway back in July 1-0, a sign of promise. Abraham notes that innings 1-6 are more important than the 7th and 8th. I'm with him on this. You need a guy to get you to the 7th in the first place, if he doesn't then the 7th and 8th innings don't mean much. To go with the arguement is that the Yankees have a pretty decent bullpen. They likely will use the combination of Jose Veras and Brian Bruney to set-up and manybe mix in Damaso Marte for lefties. So the need for Joba is in the rotation.

Joba surely won't be pitching 200 innings as the Yankees will limit him to around 150. His potential and talent can attribute to a 15 win win season, if not more. I could be wrong but I believe that's a fair assessment. For right now Joba's in the rotation, where he belongs.

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Wild Card Weekend Rundown: Saturday





Saturday Jan 3, 2009





Recap:
Darren Sproles ran for 22 yards on the winning drive 6:20 into overtime as the Chargers beat the Colts 23-17 Saturday night. The loss ended Indy's nine game win streak and pushed the Chargers win streak to five. It also comes a day after Peyton Manning was named NFL MVP for this season, the third MVP of his career.
"It's disappointing to lose a playoff game," Manning said. "We certainly had some chances to win, but give them credit. We had chances to put the game away, but we just didn't do it."

The Chargers took advantage of two holding penalties that were called against the Colts in OT. This was the fourth time the teams met in two seasons and the sixth time in five years. The Chargers have won four of the six.








Recap:
"A lot of people coming into this game said we were the worst playoff team ever to get in," Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "... I think we rallied around that."

Kurt Warner (19-of-32, 13-for-17 in the second half, for 271 yards, 1 INT)got the best of Altanta rookie QB Matt Ryan (26-of-40 passes for 199 yards and 2 TDs) on this day. Ryan was intercepted twice, was tackled in the end zone for a safety and fumbled one ball. Warner threw a 42-yard pass for a touchdown to Larry Fitzgerald to open up the game. The Falcons recorded a season low 60 rushing yards. That didn't help their chances of moving on either.
"They controlled the line of scrimmage," Falcons coach Mike Smith said of the Cardinals' defense.

Better luck next year for Atlanta.
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