Rapid Reaction: Cardinals 51, Packers 45

January, 10, 2010
1/10/10
8:08
PM ET
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Cardinals are heading to New Orleans as a dangerous team after their wild 51-45 victory over the Packers in one of the all-time great NFL games.

To think that their defense would win it in overtime? No way. Not after allowing 45 points through regulation.

But the winning play -- on Michael Adams' sack and Karlos Dansby's touchdown return -- provided at least some validation for the Cardinals' decision to change defensive coordinators after losing the Super Bowl last season.

Losing this game would have been crushing for the Cardinals. Kicker Neil Rackers might never have recovered from missing a 34-yard attempt with 14 seconds left in regulation to win the game. The Cardinals would have wasted nearly perfect play from Kurt Warner. They would have headed into the offseason lamenting yet another defensive collapse.

Instead of ripping the Cardinals' defense, we can now all rise and salute one of the great quarterback duels in NFL history. Warner and Aaron Rodgers were about as good as quarterbacks can be.

Only one of them could advance, and Warner gives the Cardinals an excellent chance against the Saints. More on that in a bit.

Time to visit what will surely be a delirious Arizona locker room.

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