Oct 20, 2022 Close Katherine Terrell THERESA TERRELL Since 2013, an ESPN staff writer has covered the NFL. Previously worked as a Times-Picayune Saints reporter and an ESPN Bengals beat writer from 2016 to 2019. AA1 Josh Weinfuss Since 2012, JOSH WEINFUSS, an ESPN staff writer, has covered the Cardinals. Pro Football Writers of America member and Indiana University graduate Arizona’s GLENDALE Just before halftime, the Arizona Cardinals’ defense turned the tide of the contest by intercepting New Orleans Saints quarterback Andy Dalton on back-to-back drives. The squad then kept up the pressure in the second half to defeat the Saints 42-34.
The Cardinals scored 42 points, which is the most under coach Kliff Kingsbury and their most in a game since Week 17 of 2016. The victory ends Arizona’s eight-game home losing run, which had been tied for the longest home losing streak for the team since 1940.
CARDINALS OF ARIZONA In the worst possible way, the Cardinals needed this victory. They were 2-4 to start the season, their offense was subpar, and they were on the verge of a losing streak.
Then they put on this performance on national television, supported by a strong defensive effort that was highlighted by two interceptions that were returned for scores. The Cardinals took control of a game that was knotted at 14 before the first pick-six thanks to two pick-sixes from linebacker Isaiah Simmons and cornerback Marco Wilson on consecutive drives.
The Cardinals’ matchup on Thursday night might be pivotal for the season. In his first game after serving his suspension, DeAndre Hopkins had an impact. He reacclimated to the offense as effectively as the Cardinals could have wanted with 103 yards on 10 catches. However, the Cardinals needed their defense to establish a routine against the pass in order to support an offense that had done the same.
Give us the game’s two main keywords: Pick-sixes. The Cardinals took a dominating two-touchdown lead and were well-positioned to win thanks to their two interception returns for touchdowns at the end of the first half.
Bold prediction for next week: Robbie Anderson will have plenty of time to learn the playbook and comprehend his role so he can play a larger role in the offense with 10 days between Thursday night’s game and the Cardinals’ next game, which is at the Minnesota Vikings. Joshua Weinfuss
The Cardinals scored 28 points in the first half, which is a noteworthy understatement. They had 29 first-half points in their previous six games combined as the game began.
Upcoming game: at Vikings (1 p.m. ET, Oct. 30)
ST. NEW ORLEANS The Saints have committed to address their mistakes, poor tackles, and errant penalties. There is still a lot of season remaining, as they have mentioned time and time again.
The Saints, however, appear to be deteriorating after their fifth setback in six games. With the two pick-sixes, Dalton gave up 14 points on his own, and the Saints’ defense, which used to be their strongest point, has struggled this year.
With three cornerbacks out and wide receivers Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry injured, injuries undoubtedly had an impact on the outcome ( Marshon Lattimore , Paulson Adebo and now Bradley Roby ). However, the Saints have been making the same errors since Week 1, so injuries have just been a portion of the issue.
QB breakdown: Dalton’s performances in prime time haven’t been great. Since 1970, Dalton had been the only quarterback to lose five straight games in prime time by at least 17 points. After the Saints scored several late touchdowns to cut the distance, he didn’t continue that streak, tossing four touchdowns in all, but back-to-back pick-sixes (one bobbled by receiver Marquez Callaway) didn’t help his reputation in prime time. The worst time for Dalton to throw a poor performance if he wanted to keep the starting quarterback job was when Jameis Winston was starting to get well.
Unsettling pattern: The Saints entered the contest with the lowest turnover differential in the league, which didn’t improve that statistic. The offense turned the ball over three times, and their defense failed to seize the ball once. This season, the Saints have committed penalties at the worst possible times and have a high turnover rate. Dennis Allen, the coach of the Saints, has often stated that the club would work on some of those issues, but there have been no indications that they have been resolved.
The Saints’ playmakers appeared to vanish at strange times during the game, which was the biggest flaw in the strategy. After catching a 53-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, rookie receiver Rashid Shaheed, who made his NFL debut last week and scored scores on his first two career catches, was not touched again. Taysom Hill, whose one target led to a touchdown catch, sat on the sidelines for the majority of the fourth quarter. Since the Saints already lack offensive depth, it seems strange not to try to use certain players who have been standouts this year, barring an injury. Kathryn Terrell
The Saints quarterbacks have thrown six pick-sixes since the beginning of last season, which is tied with the Los Angeles Rams for the NFL’s most during that time.
versus. Raiders is the next game (1 p.m. ET, Oct. 30)