New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Reggie Bush accounted for 217 all-purpose yards and two scores, including an 83-yard punt return for a touchdown, highlighting New Orleans' convincing 45-14 victory over reigning NFC-champion Arizona in a divisional playoff meeting at the Superdome.
The Saints emphatically answered any doubts regarding the effects of a three- game losing streak that spoiled their perfect 13-0 regular season record, as their defense forced two turnovers and posted a shutout in the second half.
The offense that led the league with 510 points was hitting on all cylinders, with Drew Brees tossing for 247 yards and three touchdowns on 23-of-32 throws.
Marques Colston and Devery Henderson each caught a score and amassed 83 and 80 receiving yards, respectively, for New Orleans, which advanced to the conference title game for the second time in four years.
New Orleans will host its first NFC Championship on January 24, welcoming the winner of Sunday's Cowboys-Vikings matchup.
The NFC West-champion Cardinals took a step towards getting back to the Super Bowl with last week's memorable 51-45 overtime win over the Packers, but the club couldn't keep pace in another shootout.
Kurt Warner was briefly knocked out of the game and ended with 205 yards and an interception on 17-of-26 throws in possibly the last game of the 38-year- old's historic career.
Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells each rushed for a touchdown for the Cardinals, who were already without wide receiver Anquan Boldin (knee, ankle) and linebacker Gerald Hayes (ankle) before losing safety Antrel Rolle and Pro Bowl cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to injuries in the first half.
Larry Fitzgerald was held to 77 yards on six receptions in defeat.
- Via Sports Network.