Saints score vs. Cardinals takeaway: Arizona picks New Orleans to snap home losing skid

Saints score vs. Cardinals takeaway: Arizona picks New Orleans to snap home losing skid

The Arizona Cardinals beat the New Orleans Saints 42-34 in a “Thursday Night Football” game that actually had some offense, which is a nice change of pace this season. The Cardinals moved to 3-4 and snapped an eight-game losing streak at home, while the Saints fell to 2-5.

The game was tied for most of the first half, with a draw with less than three minutes remaining in the second quarter. Then the scales tipped significantly to the Cardinals, who scored three touchdowns during that span.

The visiting defense rocked quarterback Andy Dalton and his offense with back interception returns that followed an Arizona offensive touchdown.

Going into the half with 22 unanswered points and a 28-14 lead was more than a good start for the Cardinals to build on in the second half.

The Saints came out of halftime and scored a field goal and a score was definitely crucial there, but they needed to score seven points from three to catch up.

To make matters worse for the Saints, the Cardinals scored another touchdown in the third quarter, going up 35-17 with a 5-yard touchdown pass from Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray to Greg Dortch.

The Saints made it a game in the fourth with a 17-yard touchdown from Juwan Johnson.

It was a touchdown party tonight and the Cardinals had another one midway through the fourth quarter thanks to Eno Benjamin’s five-yard run.

If you think that’s where touchdowns ended, think again. This high-scoring game saw another one from the Saints, making it 42-31 thanks to a pass from Dalton to Juwan Johnson.

A Saints field goal with less than a minute remaining made it an eight-point game and was followed by an unsuccessful onside kick that sealed the victory for Arizona.

Why the Cardinals Won

To put it simply, they were the best team. They were more complete on all sides of the ball and identified the opposing team’s weaknesses and capitalized on them.

The Cardinals offense got a new spark with DeAndre Hopkins returning from suspension. Hopkins finished the night with 10 receptions for 103 yards.

The defense deserves a lot of credit for the win, intercepting Andy Dalton three times. All players got involved, with Antonio Hamilton, Isaiah Simmons and Marco Williams all having interceptions.

Why the saints lost

Two interceptions for returns will never set you up for a win, and the offense just couldn’t recover from the Cardinals’ explosive second-quarter finish, where they scored three touchdowns.

The Saints’ offense lacks consistency and while it wasn’t all bad, they needed to establish a steady rhythm and couldn’t.

With Jameis Winston out, Andy Dalton took over and when he was good he was good, throwing for 4 touchdowns and 361 yards, but when he was bad he gave the other team touchdowns.


The first-half pick six really made a statement, while shifting the momentum to the Cardinals. Marco Wilson’s 38-yard interception return gave the Cardinals their first lead of the game, a lead they would hold for the rest of the game.

Game of the game

Since I’ve already mentioned a choice six as a turning point, it seems fair to pay attention to the second choice six as well.

With less than a minute left in the half, Isaiah Simmons intercepted Andy Dalton, scoring the quarterback’s third pick of the half. Simmons ran it home for 56 yards, extending the lead to make it 28-14.

And after

The Saints will host the Las Vegas Raiders, who currently sit 1-4 and are coming off a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Oct. 30.

The Cardinals travel to Minnesota to take on the Vikings in Week 8. The Vikings are quietly off to a great start to the season and are in first place in their division heading into the weekend.

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