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Sun, March 24

Kingman fans ready for Super Bowl

KINGMAN - The Arizona Cardinals aren't the only ones hoping the team breaks the longest drought without a championship in the NFL on Feb. 1.

Fans throughout Kingman are cheering on the NFC Champions against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Super Bowl Sunday in Tampa, Fla.

Ray Zuniga joined patrons at Time Out Tavern, 2601 Stockton Hill Road, Suite G, Sunday to cheer the Arizona Cardinals to a 32-25 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship game.

"I thought it was fantastic," Zuniga said. "We had a really good game."

Zuniga isn't the only one excited about the results.

"I thought it was cool," Kirk Blalock said. "Yeah Arizona."

While victory was in doubt when the Eagles mounted a comeback in the second half, not all fans lost their confidence in the Cardinals.

"I knew they were going to go," Shane Taylor said. "I've been saying it all year long.

"I've had faith in them for two years," he said. "They just needed to get it together."

The team has come together under the reins of coach Ken Whisenhunt. Whisenhunt has led the team the last two seasons after leaving the Steelers, where he served as Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator.

"I like the coach," Taylor said. "Glad he came over from Pittsburgh. Can't believe they let him go."

With Whisenhunt, the Cardinals have shaken the loser mentality that has plagued them since they last won a championship in 1947 - when the Cardinals called Chicago home. Losing the old mentality, the team has established a new identity.

"The Cardinals aren't a running team," Taylor said. "They're a passing team. If they keep doing that they are going to dominate."

During the regular season, the Cardinals were fourth in overall offense with an average of 366 yards a game with 292 coming from passing yards.

They've continued the offensive proficiency in the playoffs where they're ranked third in overall offense with an average of 362 yards. The success has come with a more balanced attack ranked fourth in average passing yards with 251 and fourth in average rushing yards with 111.

With yardage, comes scoring.

During the regular season, the Cardinals averaged 27 points a game. In the postseason, they've averaged 32 points a game - most among all playoff teams.

The Steelers rank lower in both offensive categories, though they had the No. 1 ranked defense during the regular season, only giving up an average of 237 yards a game. They gave up a lead-leading low average of 14 points a game.

They were ranked the second defense in the postseason, giving up and average of 244 offensive yards to opposing teams. During those two postseason games, they've given up an average of 19 points.

"I think the game is going to be pretty close," Taylor said. "I think it's going to be a high scoring game."

Taylor isn't the only one predicting a Cardinals' victory.

"They're going to win, of course," Zuniga said.

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