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Arizona Cardinals return to scene of devastating defeat

Kurt Warner lies on the ground after being injured against the New Orleans Saints. (AP Photo)

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The last time the Arizona Cardinals played the New Orleans Saints on the road, things did not go so well.

"The opening play went real well," receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. "After that the wheels came off."

Indeed.

The Jan. 16, 2010 matchup was for a trip to the NFC Championship game, and the Cardinals lost by a score of 45-14. The Cardinals took a 7-0 lead on their first offensive play when running back Tim Hightower took a handoff 80-yards for a score, but the Saints scored the next 21 points and never looked back.

Cards QB Kurt Warner was injured during an interception return in the second quarter, and while he returned to finish the game, it would be the last time he suited up on an NFL field.

So yeah, the Cardinals do not exactly have great memories of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, which holds more than 73,000 fans.

"It's a hostile environment," Fitzgerald added. "They're a tremendous team at home -- they're a tremendous team on the road, but they play especially well at home.

"We're going to have to match their intensity from the start of the game to the end of the game. It's going to be a great test for us, I look forward to it."

Offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin believes it is important for the Cardinals to get off to a fast start, especially offensively, because the Saints are a team that can pile up points in a hurry. The last time the teams met in New Orleans, the Cardinals were unable to keep up.

"As long as we've got 11 guys on the same page, we should be fine," the coach said.

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