Reggie Bush, New Orleans Saints 'Bring the Wood' Against Arizona Cardinals

Bill HoneycuttContributor IIJanuary 17, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 16:  Reggie Bush #25 of the New Orleans Saints carries a bat with him as he leads his teammates onto the field against the Arizona Cardinals during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Louisana Superdome on January 16, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Reggie Bush showed us all on Sunday why he was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft.

Bush ran like a man possessed and brought an intensity to this game that we haven't seen since his days at USC.

Possibly his best game as a Saint, Bush picked up 217 all-purpose yards with 84 yards rushing, 24 yards receiving, and over 109 yards on three punt returns, one of which was returned 84 yards for a TD. 

"I knew I was going to get a lot of opportunities today to make plays and just be a difference-maker for my team," Bush said. "I just tried to make the most of it every time I had the ball."

Bush was just one part of the 45-14 pounding of the Cardinals, though. Drew Brees picked apart a crippled Arizona secondary throwing for over 247 yards and picking up three touchdown passes along the way.

The injuries of Antrelle Rolle (Concussion) and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Knee Sprain) in the first half helped lead Brees to those numbers.

"We played with a depleted secondary today," Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "That hurt us. The Saints exploited those matchups. That was pretty obvious."

The Saints though, started off a little rusty coming off their two week break.

The first play from scrimmage was a 70-yard Tim Hightower touchdown run, but the Saints responded quickly scoring on their first drive as well ending it with a 1-yard touchdown run by Lynell Hamilton.

Also something that didn't help was when Kurt Warner was knocked out of the game after being picked off by Will Smith and being blindsided by one of his blockers. Warner was 17-of-26 for 205 yards and an interception.

Warner was replaced by Matt Leinart, but he did come back later in the game.

When it came down to it, Arizona's offense just could not keep a consistent pace and was shut down by Greg Williams and his defense the rest of the way.

Another deciding factor was Arizona's defense allowing 45 points for the second game in a row. The Cardinals' defense allowed 90 total points in its two playoff games which is the most ever in postseason history within a two-game span.

"We had a plan the whole time," said Drew Brees, who passed for 247 yards. "It was hard for anybody to understand that plan if you're not a member of my team, but we trusted in that plan, that process. We executed throughout the week and it showed in the game."

The Saints will now host the host the NFC Championship next week in the almighty Superdome against the winner of the Vikings and Cowboys. 

Saints fans are now just hoping that Reggie Bush and the Saints can bring the 'wood' once again next week and bring them to their first-ever Super Bowl appearance.