This game could go either way, but obviously as a Saints fan I think they will win and I want them to win.
The team that plays the best and makes the big plays and the least amount of mistakes will win.
Here's some reasons why I think we will win.
1) Our turnover differential is + 11 - there's is -7 . Turnovers are huge. Whoever gets the most greatly increases their chance of a win
2) Interior Linebacker Gerald Hayes either won't play or will play injured. This is huge. Our potent offense, with run or pass, puts HUGE pressure on LBs. This is one reason we tore up Phila and some other teams with LB problems. If I have things assessed correctly, the fill-in for Hayes only 6 tackles for the season meaning either he hasn't played much or isn't real strong. In this modern day era it is hard to have 2 strong ILBs and then 2 strong backups. Two weeks to game plan vs. Backup or injured LB is a real plus.
3) We are better than the Packers. The Packers are a good team, just not quite a great team yet. Rogers is very good, but I am pretty sure that was his first playoff game and it was on the road. He did an impressive job and was 1 play away from winning. We can and should play better than GB on both sides of the ball. GB had receivers making big plays that were unknowns.
4) We are well rested and the healthiest we have been since week 1. Having Porter and Greer and Sed and Fujita all in the line up together (not just 2 or 3 of them) will be huge.
5) Hargrove etal will play DE. I don't want to slam Charles Grant, but I reallythink we are better taking our chances with Hargorve or withDE by committee than with Charles. If Mc Cray steps up it will be huge- he should be able to. Spicer could help too, but that's just a guess.
6) We are at The Dome and it counts. We have won every game at The Superdome this year when it mattered- I think the 12th man will feel a little bit more like a 12th and 13th man.
7) 4 RBs are healthy. I am not worried about PT's ribs. He plays good when dinged a little and latest reports are he is in no pain. Reggie could be a big factor and don't count out Bell- it wasn't very long ago some fans were saying he was out best RB. The rest should have been good for him. I am very optimistic our RBs will come through- just not sure which one (s) - but it really doesn't matter.
8) Cardinals haven't faced us lately. That's in our favor especially at home. Our offense has so many receivers and weapons and is so wide open, I think the first time facing us is really tough for most defenses.
9) We should have Dave Thomas and Jeremy Shockey which means we will have 2 healthy TEsthat are threats (now that Dave Thomas has established he can be a go to guy especially for 3rd downs). But, more importantly it allows us to run a set with a FB and TE and also a set with 2 TE's (as well as shifting to one or the other) that frankly was not just the same when Shockey was out of the lineup.
10) We have had 2 weeks to tweak offensive plays and Payton and Brees are geniuses at that.
11) The Cardinals secondary is banged up. They have some excellent players but they are a little banged up and I am sure a little weary with no bye week. Mc Fadden is vulnerable and is coming off his worse game of the season. As a whole, their defensive secondary is coming off of their worst game of the season.
12) Brees' QB rating vs. the blitz is 111 - the Cardinals like to blitz and will probably have to blitz to get the kind of pressure they want on Drew, but that creates opportunities
13) Boldin is injured. actually this is a small factor- Doucet and Breaston are pretty good. But there is a drop off in experience and this is a big game on the road, so players like Doucet could struggle a little more than a tested veteran. Also their depth is a little thin with Boldin's injury given how many passing routes will be run this game.
14) Drew is incredibly accurate at home and all his weapons are available.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!
WHO DAT!!!! WHOD DAT!!!!! Geaux Saints!!