Saints vs. Cardinals score, takeaways: Arizona picks New Orleans to snap home losing skid – CBS Sports

Saints vs. Cardinals score, takeaways: Arizona picks New Orleans to snap home losing skid - CBS Sports

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

The matchup was even for most of the first half, with the game tied with less than three minutes left in the second quarter. Then the scale tipped dramatically in favor of the Cardinals, who scored three touchdowns in that time.

The visiting defense rocked quarterback Andy Dalton and his offense with a back-to-back interception performance that followed an offensive touchdown from Arizona.

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

The Saints came out of the half and scored a field goal and score was definitely decisive there, but they had to be putting up seven points to three to get there.

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 run by Juwan Johnson.

It was a touchdown fest tonight and the Cardinals put up another one midway through the fourth quarter thanks to Eno Benjamin’s five-yard rush.

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

A Saints field goal with less than a minute to go made it an eight-point game and was followed by a failed onside kick attempt that sealed the win for Arizona.

Why the Cardinals won

Simply put, they were the better team. They were more complete on all sides of the ball and picked out the opposing team’s weaknesses and capitalized on them.

The Cardinals offense had a newfound spark with DeAndre Hopkins returning from his 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 were 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 end to the second quarter, where they scored three touchdowns.

The Saints offense lacks consistency and while things weren’t all bad, they needed to establish a steady rhythm and were unable to do so.

With Jameis Winston out, Andy Dalton took the reigns 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.

Turning point

The first pick six of the first half really made a statement, while also 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 maintain for the rest of the game.

Game of the game

Since I’ve already mentioned one pick six as the turning point, it seems only fair to give some attention to the second pick six as well.

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

What follows

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

The Cardinals will head to Minnesota to face the Vikings in Week 8. The Vikings are off to a quiet start to a great season and are in first place in their division as it stands heading into the weekend.

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