The stakes were much higher this time around as the winner would advance to the NFC championship game. Many people were tailgating and getting ready for the game that would be on Saturday night.
A Superdome crowd that was drinking all day on a Saturday with the saints first trip to the NFC championship at stake, was about to get the loudest and rowdiest it’s ever been.
They delivered as the noise level in the dome rivaled, if not surpassed, the Falcons Monday night game in week 3.
The game started with the most vicious hit I’ve ever seen when on the first play from scrimmage Brees threw a swing pass to Reggie Bush who was decapitated by Eagles corner Sheldon Brown.
Reggie slowly got up and scored a key touchdown later in the game. He had 12 carries for 52 yards and caught three passes for 22 yards. ( when people question his toughness I always think about that play and how tough that hit was he came back from).
But the engine of the offense that night was Deuce McAllister, who ran the ball for 143 yards to cap off a 165 total yard performance with two touchdowns.
Perhaps his most impressive touchdown of the game, and of his career, came in the third quarter when linebacker Dhani Jones hit Deuce at the line of scrimmage. He refused to go down, keeping his legs moving, and literally moved an entire pile into the endzone for a huge touchdown.
"He’s an absolute horse, said defensive end Charles Grant."
Indeed he was as Deuce was the heart and soul of the Saints franchise since he was drafted in 2002, and finally he was in the playoffs for the first time in his career and he made the most of it.
"It was Deuce’s night and he deserved it, said fellow tailback Reggie Bush."
One year after Katrina devastated New Orleans the Saints were heading to the NFC title game for the first time ever. It was perhaps greatest one year turnaround in sports history. Long time saints fans never thought they’d live to see the day. But indeed they did.