Cardinals, Steelers go against the grain
Posted Jan. 12 at 02:19 PM
This year’s “Final Four” features a pair of unusual teams.
Arizona finished the regular season ranked 28th in scoring defense. Since the NFL went to a 16-game season in 1978, the Cardinals are the third team with a bottom-5 defense to make it to a conference championship game.
The other two bottom-5 defenses, by the way, both lost. The 1983 Seahawks lost 30-14 at Los Angeles to the Raiders, and the 1981 Chargers lost 27-7 at Cincinnati to the Bengals.
And at the other end of the spectrum, the Steelers are just the third team ever to make it to a conference championship game without ranking higher than 20th in scoring.
The other two offenses outside the top 20 also lost. The 1979 Buccaneers lost 9-0 to the Los Angeles Rams, and the same opponents hooked up for another low-scoring duel 20 years later, with the Rams (then the St. Louis Rams) winning that one 11-6.
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