There is no recent playoff history to speak of when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Arizona Cardinals. While both teams are historical football clubs when it comes to longevity, they have been in separate conferences in the Super Bowl era. Up until Super Bowl XLIII, the Cardinals franchise had never been to a Super Bowl. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is trying to win its sixth Super Bowl title.
Arizona has not won an NFL championship since 1947. They are situated in the franchise’s third home city, having been based in Chicago and then St. Louis, before moving to Phoenix, Arizons, in 1987. Pittsburgh last won the Super Bowl on February 5, 2006. Always based in Pittsburgh, the Steelers were initially called the Pirates.
The one recent link between the two teams comes in the form of the Arizona coaching staff. Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt was an offensive coach with Pittsburgh during their last Super Bowl season, as was current Cardinals offensive coach Russ Grimm. Both coaches believe passionate in running the football and playing the game of football one way – hard-nosed.
Another interesting bond between the two teams is that both Whisenhunt and Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin are both only second-year sideline bosses. It’s a virtual rarity in professional football to see such success so early on in a new coach’s plan. These two coaches have faced each other, with the meeting coming when both were rookie bosses. The last time these two teams faced each other, it was on September 30, 2007, with the Cardinals prevailing at home by a score of 21-14.
In terms of roster, there are many Steelers who played in their Super Bowl XL victory. Meanwhile, the championship experience on Arizona’s side limited to Kurt Warner and his 1999 championship season as quarterback of the St. Louis Rams.
While Arizona was primarily a passing team during the 2008 NFL season, they have run the ball more in the postseason. Expect Whisenhunt and Grimm to give Tomlin and the Steelers a dose of 'Steelers toughness' during this game. Whatever the outcome of Steelers-Cardinals, it should be entertaining.