Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt has many connections to playoff foe Atlanta Falcons

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TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Ken Whisenhunt has so many ties with the Atlanta Falcons.

He grew up in nearby Augusta, went to Georgia Tech and was drafted -- in the 12th round -- by the Falcons.

Whisenhunt interviewed for the Atlanta coaching vacancy two seasons ago, before he was hired by Arizona.

And when Atlanta offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey was putting together his Falcons playbook, he called Whisenhunt for some material from their Steelers days -- both worked on Bill Cowher's staff.

Whisenhunt says he sees some of the old Steelers system when he watches video of Atlanta's play.

The Cardinals will need all the insight they can muster.

Even though they're playing at home Saturday afternoon, they're a 3 1/2-point underdog against the Falcons.

The franchise will be playing its first home playoff game since winning the NFL championship as the Chicago Cardinals in 1947.

The Cardinals are in the playoffs for the first time in a decade and only the second time since 1984.

Only a handful of Arizona players have playoff experience, led by former Super Bowl MVP Kurt Warner.