Those thoughts were quickly dispelled. After the Saints tied it up with a touchdown on the next drive, Kurt Warner threw a perfect pass to Jerheme Urban in stride, which he caught — but then fumbled away after a nice run after the catch. To me, that was the critical play of the game, as the Cardinals were never quite the same after that miscue.
This was the game that Kurt Warner took a vicious hit by Bobby McCray after throwing an interception. The hit, which we later learned was part of the Saints bounty program, is generally credited as the reason why Kurt Warner decided to retire.
Reggie Bush had one of the best games of his NFL career, picking apart the Cardinals defense and also returning a punt for a touchdown. Drew Brees had his way with the Cardinals secondary all game, which played without Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in the second half as he was forced out with an injury.
The final score was 45-14 — a game that featured terrible tackling by the Cardinals, and constant pressure on Warner by the Saints defense. It was a sad ending to a very good season, and it also has turned out to be the last playoff game in which the Cardinals have played. Let’s hope that stat changes after the regular season this coming year.