After a disappointing loss in Caesar’s Superdome last Sunday, the New Orleans Saints had a quick turnaround as they traveled to Arizona to play Thursday Night Football against the Cardinals. An explosive second quarter for the red birds helped elevate them with a 35-24 win over the Saints.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Black and Gold got hot early with a 17-yard run by running back Alvin Kamara on the game’s second play. Two plays later, quarterback Andy Dalton connected with undrafted rookie Rashid Shaheed for a 53-yard touchdown.
The Cardinals’ second offensive play resulted in a 31-yard catch by second-year receiver Rondale Moore. They’d settle for a 50-yard Rodrigo Blankenship field goal as the Saints led 7-3 with 10:54 left in the first quarter.
On the following possession, New Orleans moved down the field and ate up over eight minutes of time. Dalton and the offense drove down to the red zone with the drive resulting in an interception in the end zone by Antonio Hamilton.
Off the pick, Kyler Murray and the Cardinals drove down the field, including a 45-yard scamper by Eno Benjamin. Arizona would cut the deficit to just one early in the second quarter.
It wouldn’t take long for the Saints to find the end zone as wide receiver Kevin White’s 64-yard catch and run down the sideline set up a touchdown reception by Taysom Hill from three yards out. New Orleans now led 14-6.
Arizona throughout the rest of the first half would score 22 unanswered points. Keontay Ingram ran it in from a couple of yards out with Benjamin converting the two-point conversion to tie the game. The last two drives of the half concluded with Dalton pick-sixes. The first was a tip drill off of Marquez Callaway and Marco Wilson was able to make the play and returned 38 yards for the score. The second was a severely underthrown ball that was caught by Isaiah Simmons that was taken back 56 yards. Murray completed the pass to Zach Ertz for another two-point conversion as the Cardinals were up at halftime 28-14.
Coming back from the break, the defense of New Orleans forced a three-and-out. Hill on 2nd & 10 from the Arizona 49-yard line connected with Chris Olave for a 41-yard pitch and catch. The Saints would stall near the goal line and settle for a 25-yard Wil Lutz field goal.
With 29 seconds left to go in the third quarter, Murray quickly hit his receiver, Greg Dortch for the five-yard score. Arizona’s lead was 35-17.
Following a couple of punts, New Orleans with a short field drove 46 yards and resulted in a 17-yard touchdown catch by tight end Juwan Johnson.
Arizona rebuttal with a score of their own as Benjamin carried it a majority of the drive and capped it off by finding pay dirt to extend their lead to 42-24 with 6:26 left to go in the game.
Johnson got in for a second time and Lutz knocked another ball through the uprights. It wouldn’t be enough as the Saints fell to the Cardinals 42-34 and are now 2-5 on the season.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: The Cardinals Defense
The defense as a whole for Arizona as they created three turnovers and scored a couple of touchdowns themselves.
BIG NUMBER: 3
Andy Dalton completed three passes to the opposing team on Thursday night, including two of them being returned for a touchdown as the Saints now drop to 2-5 on the season.
UP NEXT: The New Orleans Saints (2-5) will return to host the Las Vegas Raiders (1-4) on Sunday, October 30th. The kickoff is set for 12:00.