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Which Players Will Be The X Factors This Week?

Which players could have the biggest impact on Saturday’s NFC Divisional Playoff Game?

Saints CB Jabari Greer

Greer is back and healthy for the Saints after missing the second half of the regular season with a groin injury and sports hernia surgery. He played primarily as the nickel back in passing situations in the regular season finale against the Carolina Panthers.

He has a tall order ahead of him- keeping an eye on Anquan Boldin, if he plays, or Larry Fitzgerald, two of the most gifted receivers in the league in Arizona’s pass happy offense. While he doesn’t have the size to keep up with either receiver, he has the smarts and skill set to be effective against them. Greer must slow down either receiver and throw the timing of the passing game off to give the Saints time to come after Cardinals’ QB Kurt Warner, who has one of the quickest releases in the league.

Saints DE Bobby McCray

McCray will more than likely get the start at the DE spot vacated by Charles Grant’s injury. While arguably a better pass rusher than Grant, McCray is battling a back injury which has limited him in practice the past few weeks.

The Saints are going to count on McCray to help come after and pressure Kurt Warner all game. For the season, McCray has 12 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

Cardinals CB Mike Adams

Adams had a rather forgettable performance Sunday against the Green Bay Packers, consistently getting picked on by Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. However, his well timed blitz forced a Rodger’s fumble, which was returned for the winning score in overtime. Will the Saint continue to pick on him this Saturday?

Adams is the Cardinals’ primary nickel back. He was used extensively last week as the Cardinals went to a prevent defense in the second half of the Packers game.

Saints RB Pierre Thomas

The Saints leading rusher this season is feeling good after breaking some ribs during the Saints second to last game of the season against the Tampa Bay Bucs. Having the last couple of weeks off has allowed Thomas to heal and be ready for this week’s game.

The Saints need Thomas to run the ball well to help the Saints control the tempo of the game and keep Arizona’s high scoring offense off the field. The Saints will also use screen passes to the RBs to keep the Cardinals pass rush on edge.

“I feel good,” Thomas told the local media. “I’m not worried about that at all. I can’t wait to Saturday. I am anxious and glad to be back. I’m not having any problems. I’m out there moving, running, lifting weights, sneezing, coughing, whatever it is I’m doing it all like I’ve been doing it. I feel fine.”

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