Who Is This Weeks X Factor in the NFC Title Game?

Last week, you voted Pierre Thomas over Jabari Greer and Bobby McCray as the X factors for last Saturday’s game against the Cardinals. While Thomas played a good game, churning out yards and moving the sticks, Greer and McCray deserved some recognition too. Greer had the unenviable task of defending Cardinals All-Pro WR Larry Fitzgerald and shut him down. McCray and the D-line wreaked havoc all over Kurt Warner and the Cardinals offense. His big hit on Kurt Warner on the Will Smith interception hurt to watch.

Who will step up to the plate this week- A talented runner? A shutdown corner? The O line? Or a rookie kicker?

OT Jermon Bushrod

Bushrod has the unenviable task this week of facing Vikings DE ace Jared Allen. Allen and the D-line controled the game all day Sunday and held Cowboys QB Tony Romo in check. Romo finished with 198 yards passing and no TDs against a suspect Vikings secondary, but could not consistently find his receivers due to the Vikings pass rush. Expect Bushrod to get help in protecting Brees with TEsDave Thomas and Jeremy Shockey.

Jermon has done an admirable job defending QB Drew Brees’ blind side all season in place of All Pro OT Jamal Brown. Now, he’s asked to step up in the most important game of the year. But, Brees and the boys have faith in him.

Says Jahri Evans of his linemate, ” He’s done a tremendous job this year at the left tackle spot, he continues to do a great job, and it just shows the hard work that he put in, mentally, physically going throughout the week. I see him in here every week taking care of his body, every week in the film room watching extra film, extra homework for his opponent ahead.”

RB Reggie Bush

Chants of RE-GGIE! RE-GGIE! filled the Superdome last week as Bush dazzled the crowd with the best game of his career. Reggie set the tone early by being a more physical runner, lowering his shoulders and hitting defender after defender after contact. He displayed his moves that made him a Heisman Trophy winner at USC. That TD run is the stuff of legends. Overall, he finished the game with 217 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns.

Can Reggie duplicate his performance?

Maybe..but his value will not necessarily be how many touchdowns he scores or how many yards he rushes. The Vikings have one more weapon to worry about. Who do you send to defend Bush? A LB? A corner or safety? Either way, somebody is going to have a favorable matchup because of Bush’s presence. And once he gets the ball, is he going to run around you or through you now?
Bush dazzled and awed the Superdome crowd with the best game of his career.

CB Jabari Greer

Jabari and the Saints secondary played a great game, shutting down some talented Cardinals receivers and forcing turnovers. Greer had the toughest assignment in Larry Fitzgerald and did a solid job of holding his own Fitzgerald did not have a catch until after the two minute warning and a completion from Kurt Warner until the third quarter.

This week it’s Vikings WR Sidney Rice who plays the premier shut down corner in the NFC South. Rice caught three TDs last week and has become Farve’s favorite target. Can Greer contain the young receiver? If so, this could go a long way towards the Saint hoisting the George S. Halas Trophy at the end of the night.

K Garrett Hartley

In a game between two evenly matched teams that may go down to the wire, every point matters. Can Garrett Hartley handle the playoff pressure and kick a late field goal if called upon? Payton and the boys do.

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