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Saints vs Cardinals Game Notes

    <span>              <span style="">POSTGAME NOTES</span>                  
            <span style="">Arizona Cardinals vs. New Orleans Saints ● Saturday, January 16, 2010</span>                   

· Today's victory moves the Saints into the NFC Championship Game for the second time in the last four seasons. By virtue of the No. 1 seed in the NFC Playoffs, New Orleans will host the NFC Championship Game for the first time ever. The Saints will meet the winner of Sunday's Minnesota-Dallas game on Sunday, Jan. 24 at 5:40 p.m. CST.

· The Saints have won three consecutive playoff games in the Superdome. Today's victory evens the Saints' all-time home record in playoff games at 3-3.

· By halftime, the Saints had established a franchise record for points in a playoff game. The previous record was 31 in New Orleans' 31-28 NFC first round victory over St. Louis in 2000.

· Today's scoring outburst continues a regular-season trend in which the Saints scored 40 or more points four times and 30 or more points nine times, all in wins.

· The Saints set several milestones as it relates to scoring in a quarter and half of a playoff game. The Saints scored 21 points in the first quarter, becoming the 11th team in NFL history (and the first in NFC Divisional Playoff history) to score 21 or more points in the first 15 minutes of a playoff game. Baltimore became the 10th team last Sunday at New England.

· The Saints became the ninth team in NFL history to score 35 or more first-half points in a playoff game, and the second this decade (35, Indianapolis vs. Denver, 2004 AFC first round). Washington set the NFC Divisional Playoff record of 38 points in 1983 vs. the Los Angeles Rams.

· The 31-point margin of victory is the largest in club history and the largest in an NFL playoff game since Indianapolis defeated Denver 41-10 in the 2003 AFC Wild Card round.

· QB Drew Brees completed 23 of 32 passes for 247 yards with three touchdown passes and a passer rating of 125.4.

· RB Reggie Bush's 83-yard punt return for a touchdown in the third quarter is the third longest punt return in NFL postseason history. The record of 88 yards was set by Baltimore's Jermaine Lewis in 2001 vs. Pittsburgh. Coincidentally, the second-longest return also took place in the Superdome – 84 yards by Minnesota's Anthony Carter against the Saints in the club's first-ever postseason game in 1987.

· Bush's 46-yard touchdown run in the first quarter was the longest postseason rush ever by a Saint. Bush now has the longest rushing play and longest receiving play (88 yards at Chicago, 1/21/07) in Saints postseason history.

· Bush had 108 yards from scrimmage Saturday (84 rushing, 24 receiving). During the regular season, his season high for yards from scrimmage was 98 (83 rushing, 15 receiving) on 11/15 at St. Louis.

· Bush had 217 all-purpose yards (84 rushing, 24 receiving, 109 punt returns), a playoff career high. He had 172 all-purpose yards in the 2006 NFC Championship game at Chicago. His regular-season career high is 269 (29 rushing, 64 receiving, 176 punt returns) on 10/6/08 vs. Minnesota.

· RB Lynell Hamilton scored the first Saints touchdown on a one-yard run in the first quarter. Hamilton had two touchdowns in the regular season.

· WR Devery Henderson's 44-yard second-quarter touchdown reception was his first career postseason TD.

· WR Marques Colston's 2-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter was his second career postseason TD. He had a 13-yard score in the 2006 NFC Championship at Chicago.

· TE Jeremy Shockey caught a 17-yard touchdown pass from Brees in the first quarter. Shockey had not scored a touchdown since Week 5 against the New York Giants.

· The Saints scored touchdowns on their first three offensive possessions. The Saints scored TDs on their first two offensive possessions three times during the regular season – against Detroit in Week 1, the Giants in Week 5 and Tampa Bay in Week 16.

· DE Will Smith had an interception in the second quarter. In six NFL seasons, he has had only one regular-season INT – this season in Week 3 at Buffalo.

· Today's paid attendance was 70,149, the largest crowd to see a Saints postseason game, home or away.

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