1-15-12: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - Playoffs Gameday

He is ready (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Time for some more links as we get done with this weekend of the postseason.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Jeff Fisher in NFC West makes challenge for Cards - ArizonaSports.com
Former Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher made the decision on Friday to take the reins for the St. Louis Rams, turning down an offer made by the Miami Dolphins. Fisher did not coach this past season, as he was fired from the Titans in January 2011 after spending 16 seasons with the team. He has a coaching record of 142-120 and led the team to four division championships. Fisher also suffered a 23-16 loss to the Rams and Kurt Warner's MVP performance in the 1999 Super Bowl. Moving to the NFC West means the Arizona Cardinals will have a coach in their division that relies heavily on defense and carries a record of 2-2 against them since 1994.

Jeff Fisher raises the bar (a little bit) in the NFC West
When the news broke that Jeff Fisher had decided to return to the NFL as coach of the St. Louis Rams rather than the Miami Dolphins, as many anticipated, it might have made some Cardinals fans squeamish. After all, the Rams have a talented young quarterback to build around in Sam Bradford, and Fisher has a pretty strong pedigree. He won 142 regular-season games while head coach of the Tennessee Titans, compiled a .542 winning percentage, won four division championships and reached a Super Bowl -- which he lost, ironically, to the Rams. And with Jim Harbaugh having just engineered a quick turnaround in San Francisco, Pete Carroll having won a 2010 division title in his first season in Seattle, it seems as if the NFC West suddenly is loaded with coaching talent.

NFL Videos: McNabb and Fitzgerald weigh in on Tebow
Donovan McNabb and Larry Fitzgerald address Tim Tebow's future as the Denver Broncos' starting quarterback after a 45-10 loss to the New England Patriots in Saturday's AFC Divisional Playoff Game.

Arizona Sports News:

UA basketball can't finish rally, falls to Oregon Ducks
Victories at Arizona don't happen often for Oregon. The desert sweep accomplished by the Ducks on Saturday is rarer still. Garrett Sim scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:46 to play, and the Ducks held off the Wildcats 59-57 to complete just their second sweep at Arizona and Arizona State since the Arizona schools joined what is now the Pac-12 33 years ago.

ASU basketball pulls out win vs. Oregon State despite losing Trent Lockett to injury
Yes, they are flawed, to the point that fans already have written off Pac-12 contention for another season. But say this for the Arizona State Sun Devils: They haven't given up. Saturday night offered another blow: With 10 minutes to go in the game, ASU lost its best player, Trent Lockett, to a severe right-ankle sprain. Still, the Sun Devils survived. Their 76-66 win over Oregon State at Wells Fargo Arena might just be a fluke or it might be a turning point. It's hard to say in this season's Pac-12, which offers head-scratching results nearly every week. But at least it gives a struggling team confidence, and that is what ASU needs more than anything.

NFL News:

Rapid Reaction: 49ers 36, Saints 32 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Thoughts after the San Francisco 49ers' 36-32 divisional playoff victory over the New Orleans Saints on Saturday at Candlestick Park:

Tom Brady Throws 6 Touchdown Passes; Patriots End Broncos' Run, 45-10 - SBNation.com
It was never close on Saturday night as Tom Brady and the Patriots steam-rolled Tim Tebow and the Broncos

Alex Smith Engineers Last-Second Drive As 49ers Down Saints, 36-32 - SBNation.com
In a frantic finish, Alex Smith found Vernon Davis for the touchdown with nine seconds as the Niners advanced to the NFC Championship.

NFL Playoffs 2012: Fun Win Probability Graphs From Saturday's Games - From Our Editors - SBNation.com
It's always interesting to check out win probability graphs, no matter the sport. Looking back on the swings in momentum, plays that had a significant affect on the outcome of the game and just how in-control a matchup was at any given time can paint a fun picture of what happened. Such is the case for Saturday's NFL playoff matchups, which took two drastically different paths to their outcomes.

Patriots run the old ‘Tom Brady punts, then everybody punches everybody’ play | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo! Sports
Tom Brady got so bored with throwing touchdown passes against the Broncos on Saturday night that he started to mix in some punting, too. Turns out he's pretty good at that, too. He dropped it at the 10-yard-line.

Two 49ers fans shot for cheering on team | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo! Sports
Two men were shot yesterday for cheering the San Francisco 49ers late, game-winning touchdown at a Georgia Applebee's on Saturday. No, this really happened.

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