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Halo 01-15-2010 12:00 PM

Four reasons why the Saints will beat Arizona
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Only a fool would totally dismiss Arizona's chances to beat the Saints this Saturday. Quarterback Kurt Warner is too hot and the Cardinals have been too good in the role of playoff underdogs the past two years, winning four of five games when most people expected them to lose every time.

But it is even more foolish to pick the Cardinals to win. Just about every tangible and intangible factor favors the Saints.

1) The Super Bowl hangover

Since the Buffalo Bills won the AFC title four years in a row from 1990 to 1993, no losing Super Bowl team has even returned to its conference championship game the following year. Why would Arizona be any different?

2) The incredible game hangover

While the Saints are rested and ready after a bye, the Cardinals will be six days removed from an emotionally exhausting experience in the highest-scoring playoff game in NFL history. They thought they had put away Green Bay early in the third quarter when they went ahead 31-10 but were lucky to hold on, 51-45 in overtime.

If Green Bay had won, the Packers could have played on Tuesday. They would have been on an incredible adrenaline rush and felt like they were invincible after scoring touchdowns on five consecutive series.

Arizona learned just how vulnerable it was during the Green Bay comeback. It takes a long time to recover from having your heart in your throat for about an hour.

“I fought for 65 minutes,” Arizona safety Antrel Rolle said. “I don’t think I could have fought for 66 minutes.”

He and his teammates will have to find the energy for another 60-minute fight this Saturday.

3) The game is in the Superdome

Arizona’s 6-2 road record this year is misleading. The Cardinals’ victims were Jacksonville (7-9), Seattle (5-11), the New York Giants (8-8), Chicago (7-9), St. Louis (1-15) and Detroit (2-14). They lost to Tennessee (8-8) and San Francisco (8-8).

Arizona had only one playoff game on the road last year, book-ending home victories against Atlanta and Philadelphia with a 33-13 upset at Carolina. Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme gift-wrapped that one by throwing five interceptions and losing a fumble. Drew Brees won’t be as generous a host.

4) New Orleans leads the NFL in scoring.

Arizona’s defense, reeling after giving up 45 points, 512 yards and 32 first downs to Green Bay, faces a team that put up 49 more points than the Packers in the regular season. The Saints also led the NFL in scoring last year. Obviously, this is a bad match-up for Arizona’s beleaguered secondary.

5) The New Orleans pass defense is better than Green Bay’s.

This one deserves its own story.

Check back Saturday morning.

homerj07 01-15-2010 12:48 PM

Re: Four reasons why the Saints will beat Arizona
From your pen to God's ears & heart!! Go SAINTS!!!

st thomas 01-15-2010 06:59 PM

Re: Four reasons why the Saints will beat Arizona
well said no comment

breesfan27 01-15-2010 07:10 PM

Re: Four reasons why the Saints will beat Arizona

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