NFL Playoffs Fan Battle: Cardinals vs. Saints Preview

To get you ready for the Cardinals-Saints’ Divisional Round tilt in the “Big Easy” this Saturday, here’s a preview of the game via a mock dialogue between an Arizona and a New Orleans fan.

Saint Fan: I bet Sean Payton couldn’t sleep after watching the Packers rip apart the Cardinals’ defense last Sunday! Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, James Jones and Jermichael Finley lit you guys up and we have similar weapons in Marques Colston, Jeremy Shockey, Devery Henderson and Robert Meachem. I can’t wait to see what that group will do against Arizona’s brutal secondary this Saturday!

Cardinal Fan: Last week was an anomaly – the Cards’ defense won’t play that bad two weeks in a row. Ken Whisenhunt and his staff have already dissected what went wrong and are working to correct the problem. Besides, tackling was the main issue last week, which is correctable.

Saint Fan: Payton just won coach of the year and is one of the brightest offensive minds in football. If Mike McCarthy figured out how to rack up 40-plus points on Arizona, then Payton might double that.

Cardinal Fan: This isn’t the regular season – it’s the playoffs.

Saint Fan: Wow, you’re just figuring this out now?

Cardinal Fan: Hear me out; Whisenhunt is 4-1 in the postseason as the Cardinals’ head coach. He has already been to the Super Bowl and thus knows what it takes to get there. There’s no doubt Payton is a great coach, but there’s a lot more at stake for him this weekend with the Saints being the No. 1 seed and expected to reach the Super Bowl after running through the competition for most of the season.

Saint Fan: Yeah, but let’s give defensive coordinator Gregg Williams his due. His aggressive style has changed how the Saints run their defense and he deserves just as much credit for our team’s success this year as Payton does.

Cardinal Fan: Oh, you mean the same Gregg Williams-led defense that can’t stop the run? Once we establish the ground game with Beanie Wells, Kurt Warner is going to pick your fading defense apart with his precision passing. Plus, once we get inside the red zone we’re nearly unstoppable. We’ve scored touchdowns on 70.4 percent of our trips inside our opponents’ 20-yard line, which is the best in the league.

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Neil Rackers attempts 68-yard free kick

Towards the conclusion of the first half of the game between the Giants and Cardinals Sunday, Neil Rackers attempted a free-kick field goal from 68 yards out, which took all of 47 minutes to set up.

Nice kick, Pele.

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