Nathan Stubbs

Cajun connections come up big for Cards, Saints next opponent

by Nathan Stubbs

The Arizona Cardinals' amazing 51-45 overtime win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Wildcard playoff game last night couldn't have happened without the game-changing play of two familiar names to Acadiana sports fans. St. Martinville native and former LSU standout wide receiver Early Doucet stepped up big in his new starting role with the team, catching six passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns. Doucet also caught the pass that would have set up the game-winning field goal for Arizona at the end of regulation, had kicker Neil Rackers been able to find the uprights.

In overtime, it was former UL Ragin Cajun cornerback Michael Adams who, having struggled all game, redeemed himself with a corner blitz sack on Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. Adams stripped Rodgers of the ball, which bounced right into the arms of teammate Karlos Dansby who took it into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown.

Adams, who has bounced from the practice squad to the active roster since signing with the Cardinals as an undrafted free agent in 2007, is known for his resiliency on the team. In a feature story on Adams today by CBS Sports, Cards coach Ken Whisenhunt says, "The reason Michael is on our roster is because of his ability to fight." Adams tells CBS that at the end of the game, "I was just praying to God, asking him for a fighting chance — asking him for a play to change the game, just to get my morale up."

The playoff journey doesn't get any easier for the Cardinals. Next up, a homecoming trip for Adams and Doucet to the Louisiana Superdome where they face the NFC's No. 1 seeded New Orleans Saints this Saturday. Ragin' Cajun sports notes today that Adams is the last remaining Ragin Cajun in this year's playoffs. Should the Saints prevail this weekend, it would end a four year streak where at least one former Ragin Cajuns player has made it to the Super Bowl. Only 19 schools have been represented in each of the last four Super Bowls, UL being the only one in a non-BCS conference.