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Personnel decisions await Cardinals

The Cardinals' offensive performance against the Packers in the wild-card round transcended personnel groups.

At various points, Arizona went 13 and 23 plays in a row without even getting to third down. That is dominance.

The first chart shows Kurt Warner's passing efficiency across all groups. The second chart shows summary information for running and passing games.

The first group listed -- "20" personnel with two backs and no tight ends -- isn't one we see teams use much. The Cardinals have used this group to get rookie LaRod Stephens-Howling onto the field. Coach Ken Whisenhunt started doing this earlier in the season and sometimes it appeared forced. The team now appears more comfortable working from this grouping. Warner often targets Stephens-Howling out of the backfield on pass plays, but the Cardinals showed against Green Bay a willingness to align this personnel in traditional I- and offset-I formations, favoring the run.

The Cardinals relied heavily on their "11" personnel with one back and one tight end. Warner was deadly from this group, completing 16 of 18 passes for 197 yards and three touchdowns. Arizona left rookie Beanie Wells alone in the backfield from this pass-oriented grouping, an indication Arizona might be increasingly willing to trust him in protection.

Arizona exploited the Packers' linebackers in coverage. The Saints' linebackers appear better suited in coverage. That could be one matchup to watch in the divisional round. I'll be curious to see if the Cardinals go with one back and two tight ends a little more to facilitate their running game. Anquan Boldin's availability can also influence personnel choices, making four-receiver groupings more tempting. But it's less natural to run the ball from that grouping, another factor to consider.

Cardinals passing game: Week 18

Cardinals personnel report: Week 18