Saints Steamroll Cardinals 45-14 to Advance to NFC Championship Game

For those that were worried that losing the last three games of the regular season would doom the New Orleans Saints – think again.

Saturday at the Superdome the Saints flexed their offensive muscle that they showed for most of the regular season, putting the Cardinals away with five first half touchdowns to lead 35-14 at halftime enroute to 45-14 win that puts them in the NFC Championship Game.

The win means that the Saints will host the NFC Title game next week against the winner of Sunday’s Dallas-Minnesota game at the Metrodome Sunday afternoon. Arizona’s run ends, as they self-destructed on defense in two playoff games, allowing 90 points in a win over the Packers and then a loss to the Saints.

The Saints offense was high powered from the word go, as they fell behind 7-0 the first play of the game when Cards running back Tim Hightower went for a 70-yard touchdown to give Arizona a quick 7-0 lead. Drew Brees and the Saints came right back, as they went on a long drive to tie the game, opening up the flood gates for three first quarter touchdowns.

After a fumble gave the Saints the ball back, Brees threw a 17-yard TD to Jeremy Shockey to make it 14-7, then five minutes later Reggie Bush broke off an amazing 46-yard run in which he broke some tackles and hit the open field in full speed mode to make it 21-7 before the Cardinals could recover.

Two more second quarter touchdowns – Brees touchdowns to Devery Henderson and Marques Colston put the Saints up by 21 at halftime, and by then it was academic of the outcome, as no matter who they were facing, the Saints defense were not going to allow 21 points in the second half.

Brees had a solid day, going 23-for-32 for 247 yards with three touchdowns and a QB rating of 125.4. Bush ran for 84 yards and a touchdown, and Pierre Thomas rushed for 52 yards on 13 carries. The Saints took advantage of the Cards poor tackling, and piled up over 400 yards of offense on the night.

For Arizona, Kurt Warner was knocked out of the game on an interception when he was knocked out, but did come back into the game. Some say that Saturday was his last game of his Hall of Fame career. He ended the night 17-for-26 for 205 yards and a pick.

So the Saints will sit back and wait out the winner of the Cowboys-Vikings for the right to go to Super Bowl XLIV.

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