Arizona Cardinals @ New Orleans Saints: Game Preview

ARIZONA CARDINALS–NFC WEST (11-6) AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS–NFC SOUTH (13-3)


SERIES

 

CARDINALS

SAINTS

LEADER

13-12

 

STREAKS

 

7 of past 10

COACHES VS. OPP.

Whisenhunt: 0-1

Payton: 1-0

COACHES PLAYOFF RECORD

4-1

1-1

VS. COMMON OPP. (REG. SEASON)

Arz.: 4-1 (Car. 0-1, Det. 1-0, NYG 1-0, StL. 2-0)

NO: 4-1 (Car. 1-1, Det. 1-0, NYG 1-0, StL. 1-0)

PLAYOFF RECORD

6-6

2-6

LAST WEEK

W 51-45 (OT) vs. Packers

Bye (Week 17: L 23-10 at Panthers)

LAST GAME

12/16/07: Cardinals 24 at Saints 31.  New Orleans QB Drew Brees throws for 315 yards & 2 TDs to keep Saints in Wild Card hunt.  Saints RB Aaron Stecker rushes for 95 yards & 2 TDs in home win.

LAST GAME AT SITE

12/16/07

LAST PLAYOFF

--

BROADCAST

FOX (3:30 PM CT): Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa (Field reporter). Westwood One Radio: Dave Sims, James Lofton, Hub Arkush (Field reporter). 

SIRIUS: 124 (WW1), 125 (Arz.), 123 (NO).  XM: 124 (WW1), 103 (Arz.), 102 (NO).

 

STAT LEADERS

PASSING

Warner: 339-513-3,753-26-14-93.2

Brees: 363-514-4,388 (3C)-34 (1L)-11-109.6 (1L)

RUSHING

B. Wells (R): 176-793-4.5-7

P. Thomas: 147-793-5.4-6

RECEIVING

Fitzgerald: 97 (2C)-1,092-11.3-13 (T1L)

Colston: 70-1,074-15.3-9

OFFENSE

344.4

403.8 (1L)

TAKE/GIVE

-7

+11 (3L)

DEFENSE

346.4

357.8

SACKS

Campbell, Dockett: 7

Smith: 13 (2C)

INTs

Rodgers-Cromartie: 6

Sharper: 9 (T1L)

PR

Breaston: 6.7

Bush: 4.8

KR

Stephens-Howling (R): 24.2

Roby: 27.5

PUNTING

Graham: 47.0 (3L)

Morstead (R): 43.6

KICKING

Rackers: 85 (37/38 PAT; 16/17 FG)

Hartley: 37 (10/11 PAT; 9/11 FG)

 


NOTES

 

TEAMS MEET for 1st time in postseason.  Cardinals lead all-time series 13-12.

 

CARDINALS:  Won NFC West for 2nd season in row, team’s 1st back-to-back division titles since 1974-75.  Set club postseason records in WC with 51 points, 531 total yards & 375 pass yards.  Head coach KEN WHISENHUNT is 4-1 in postseason.  Cardinals have 4 players selected to Pro Bowl: DT DARNELL DOCKETT (2nd), WR LARRY FITZGERALD (4th), CB DOMINIQUE RODGERS-CROMARTIE (1st) & S ADRIAN WILSON (3rd).  Team has won 15 games in row (incl. postseason) when scoring 30+ points…QB KURT WARNER has guided 2 different franchises to SB.  Has 9-3 (.750) mark in postseason.  Last week became 1st player with 375+ yards (379), 85+ comp. pct. (87.9), 5+ TDs (5) & 0 INTs in playoff game.  Had 154.1 rating, 2nd best postseason mark.  Has 104.6 postseason passer rating, 2nd highest in NFL history (HOFer BART STARR, 104.8).  Averages 312.3 yards per playoff game, best mark in league annals (min. 5 games).  Has passed for 365+ yards 6 times in playoffs, most all-time.  His 66.5 comp. pct. in postseason is tops among QBs with 250+ att.  Warner passed for 1,147 yards in last year’s playoffs, most ever in single postseason, & he holds top 2 marks (1,063 in 1999 with StL).  Passed for 3,753 yards & is 1st Cardinals QB to pass for 3,000+ yards in 3 seasons in row.  In starts (incl. playoffs) with 100+ rating (min. 15 att.), his teams are 46-4 (.920)…RB TIM HIGHTOWER had 4 TDs (2 rush, 2 rec.) in 5 career playoff games.  Led NFC RBs with 63 receptions.  RB BEANIE WELLS tied for NFL rookie lead with 7 rush TDs…WR Fitzgerald has 628 rec. yards & 9 rec. TDs, most by player in 1st 5 career playoff games.  Aims for 6th playoff game in row with rec. TD & 4th in row with 2+ rec. TDs.  Tied for NFL lead with 13 rec. TDs & has 34 rec. TDs since 2008 (incl. playoffs), most in NFL.  Had 1,092 yards & is 1st Cardinal with 3 consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. WR ANQUAN BOLDIN had 1,024 yards & became 1st Cardinal with 5 1,000-yard seasons.  Boldin (5) & Fitzgerald (4) are only players in franchise history with 4+ 1,000-yard seasons.  WR STEVE BREASTON had career-high 125 yards with 7 catches & TD in WC.  WR EARLY DOUCET had career-best 77 yards & 2 TDs in WC…LB KARLOS DANSBY had game-winning 17-yard FR-TD last week.  Also had FF & tipped pass that resulted in INT by CB Rodgers-Cromartie.  Rodgers-Cromartie has 3 INTs in playoff career.  S Wilson had 5 INTs & 2 sacks this season & became 10th player in NFL history with 20+ sacks (20.5) & 20+ INTs (23).  DT Dockett had 7 sacks, most by DT. 

 

SAINTS:  Led NFL with 510 points, 9th most points scored by team in NFL history.  Topped NFL in total offense (403.8).  Ranked 4th in pass offense (272.2) & 6th in rush offense (131.6).  Only team in NFL to rank in top 6 in both.  Club won 13 games, most in franchise history, incl. team-record 13-game winning streak.  Saints have 5 players selected to Pro Bowl: QB DREW BREES (4th), G JAHRI EVANS (1st), S DARREN SHARPER (5th), T JON STINCHCOMB (1st) & LB JONATHAN VILMA (2nd).  19 different Saints scored TD this season…QB Brees set NFL record with 70.6 comp. pct. (363 of 514).  Led NFL with career-high & franchise-record 109.6 rating.  Owns top 4 marks in club annals.  Had 4,388 pass yards, 4th consecutive 4,000-yard season.  Has only 4 4,000-yard seasons in team history.  Tied own club record with 34 TD passes.  In 3 playoff games, has 916 pass yards (305.3 per game).  Led NO to 2006 NFC Champ Game.  In last game vs. Arz., completed 26 of 30 (86.7 pct.) for 315 yards with 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 132.6 rating…RB PIERRE THOMAS has 10 TDs (7 rush, 3 rec.) in past 9 home games.  Led team with career-high 793 rush yards.  RB REGGIE BUSH has 225 scrimmage yards (112.5 per game) & 2 TDs (1 rush, 1 rec.) in 2 career playoff games.  Bush (5.6) & Thomas (5.4) each averaged 5+ yards per carry.  RB MIKE BELL ranked 2nd on team with 654 rush yards and tied for 2nd with 5 rush TDs…WR ROBERT MEACHEM led team with career-best 10 TDs (9 rec., 1 FR).   Averaged 16 yards per catch.  WR MARQUES COLSTON led team with 70 receptions & 1,074 yards, his 3rd 1,000-yard season in career.  Tied Meachem for club lead with 9 rec. TDs.  In only meeting, Colston had 8 catches for 114 yards & TD.  WR DEVERY HENDERSON averages 30.7 yards per catch in postseason.  Had career-high 804 rec. yards.  TE JEREMY SHOCKEY aims for 3rd in row vs. Arz. with TD catch.  Ranks 4th among NFL TEs with 469 catches & 5,280 yards since 2002…S Sharper tied for NFL lead with 9 INTs.  Set single-season NFL record with 376 INT return yards.  Had 3 INT-TDs & has 11 in career, 2nd most in NFL history.  LB Vilma had INT & FR in last game vs. Arz. (11/28/04 with NYJ).  Led team with 110 tackles.  Tied career-high with 3 INTs.  S ROMAN HARPER was 2nd on team with 99 tackles.  CB JABARI GREER was 2nd on club with 13 PD & had 2 INTs.  CB TRACY PORTER ranked 2nd on Saints with career-high 4 INTs & had 12 PD. 

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