No rest for the weary: Battered Cards defense bracing for Saints
PHOENIX -- Thirty minutes after an epic 51-45 overtime defeat of the Packers in an NFC playoff game at University of Phoenix Stadium, Cardinals safety
With only a glance at the visitor in front of him, Wilson leaned back and began unwrapping the sweat-stained tape from around his right wrist. He said nothing. Eventually he sighed and grumbled, almost sheepishly: "What do you want me to say?"
There really were no family-friendly words for the Cardinals' worst showing of the season. Green Bay not only scored on seven consecutive possessions while erasing a 31-10 deficit, but also quarterback
"Haven't recovered yet," Wilson said Tuesday night by text, "but we'll be ready."
The Cardinals will need to be on point because Saturday in New Orleans they'll face an offense and a quarterback every bit as lethal as the Packers and Rodgers. The Saints ranked No. 1 in scoring and
The Saints' stable of receivers is deep and athletic: wideouts
"There's a lot to prepare for," Wilson says.
New Orleans' offense sputtered in its final three games, all losses after a 13-0 start. The Saints scored 17 against Cowboys, 17 against the Bucs and 10 against the Panthers (Brees and other key starters sat out the final game). Those were the only games this season that New Orleans failed to score at least 24 points.
Just as the Saints are coming off their worst performance of the season, so too is the Arizona defense. The Cardinals contend that some of their second half failures against the Packers were busted coverages, miscommunication and poor technique. On the first play of overtime, Packers wideout
"We made a lot of mistakes," defensive tackle
The Cardinals dominated defensively in the first quarter, forcing turnovers on their first two series and limiting Rodgers to those six yards passing. At halftime the Packers had only 136 yards of total offense and 10 points. But Arizona couldn't get off the field in the second half.
Green Bay converted on three third-and-longs on its opening possession of the second half en route to a touchdown. When the Packers recovered the ensuing onside kick, the change in momentum was almost tangible. "It was like whoosh," Dockett said. "They were on fire."
The only positive the Cardinals took from the game is that they had the resiliency to make a play. Most everyone assumed that when the Packers won the coin toss to start overtime, the game was theirs. Even Arizona's Pro Bowl cornerback
But on third-and-6 from the Arizona 24, linebacker
"We could have easily put our heads down and pouted and thought about what wasn't going right for us," says cornerback