New Orleans Saints host Arizona Cardinals in Saturday playoff game
NEW ORLEANS – The Louisiana Superdome will be the site of an NFC Divisional Playoff game as the New Orleans Saints will face the Arizona Cardinals Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
New Orleans (13-3) earned the top seed in the NFC postseason. Following a bye week, the Saints will host the Cardinals (11-6), the winners of a wild-card match-up with the Green Bay Packers.
New Orleans bolted out to an unprecedented 13-0 start during the 2009 regular season. Following a home loss to the Dallas Cowboys, the Saints dropped an overtime game to NFC South foe Tampa Bay. With the top seed locked up for the playoffs, the Saints rested many of their starters in their final game, which was a road loss to the Carolina Panthers.
Now the Saints enter the postseason with hopes of returning to their early season dominance. New Orleans ended the season with the league's top-ranked offense for the second straight years, and for the third time in four seasons.
The Saints are led by quarterback Drew Brees, who was named the NFC's starter in the Pro Bowl. He set an NFL single-season record for completing 70.6 percent of his pass attempts. He also led the league with a career-high 109.6 passer rating and 34 touchdown passes.
The New Orleans defense finished second in the NFL with 39 takeaways, including 26 interceptions.
Team defensive captain Jonathan Vilma, a middle linebacker, was selected to the Pro Bowl after leading the Saints with 130 tackles and adding three interceptions and two sacks.
The Saints also made a smart move in picking up free agent safety Darren Sharper, who led the NFL with nine interceptions for a league record 376 yards. Three of his picks were returned for scores. His 63 career interceptions ties him for sixth in NFL history.
The Saints-Cardinals game will be televised nationally on FOX.