Though the game means so much to the orgnization, this preview is going to be short and to the point.
The Saints will be fielding their most complete team since the Miami game. Most of their starters will see action with defensive end Charles Grant being conspicuous by his absence on IR.
The most important returnees are the Saints corners. Arizona is a passing team and the redbirds have the best wide-out tandem in the NFL. Hopefully the refs will do a much better job calling out Larry Fitzgerald for his shoves than they did last weekend.
This will be the first match-up between the two teams in post-season and there is relatively little history between the franchises, with the most recent being the Saints' inability to land the opportunity to score running back Beanie Wells in the 2009 NFL Draft.
Running back Pierre Thomas is nursing a serious injury (broken ribs) and can't expect to be at his best. However this could be the perfect opportunity for running back Reggie Bush to shine at the highest level.
1) Does Saints quarterback Drew Brees torment Arizona defensive back Michael Adams the way opposing teams used to pick on undersized Saints db Jason David?
2) Can the Saints get yards and first downs,and thus control of the game clock, on the ground?
3) Will the Saints' secondary distinguish themselves as the big-play squad that help the Black and Gold dominate the early part of the season?
The aforementioned matters more than how the Saints finished the season. The team is well-rested and largely healed up after a rough end to the regular season.
Oddsmaker Danny Sheridan has the Saints as a 7 point favorite. I think the Saints are going to win but it could come down to a field goal, (insert deity)-forbid.
Take the points...worst case scenario, the Saints win the game and host an NFC championship game for the first time in the Superdome.