Arizona Cardinals Fall to Saints 24-10: Second Half Analysis

We covered the first half earlier today and while it wasn't amazing, there were plenty of areas that should give fans some hope. The Cardinals come out of the lockerroom with a 10-7 lead and for the most part, they're down to third team players and a good deal of these players are fighting for a roster spot instead of playing time. Here's a look at the second half action and we'll look at the who excelled and who struggled later this afternoon.

3rd Quarter:

  Cards 5th Drive: The Cardinals got the ball coming out of halftime Drc_mediumand get a decent return from Jerheme Urban (23 yards) but they wouldn't keep it very long. A quick three-and-out would consist of a six yard run by Arrington, a drop by Ben Patrick and a one yard pass from St. Pierre to Rector.

Saints 5th Drive: The Saints offense got off to a fast start in the second half with the combination of Aaron Stecker running and Mark Brunell throwing. Stecker gained 37 yards on 6 carries and a touchdown on the drive but he also fumbled when Ali Highsmith wrapped him up (the Saints recovered obviously). Brunell only threw three passes but they were all complete and went for 29 yards. The highlight of the series though would be Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie lighting up tight end Mark Campbell. Campbell held onto the pass but had to be helped off the field.

Cards 6th Drive: The Cardinals would come out and have their second consecutive three-and-out series. Pierre would complete the first down pass for six yards and Arrington would pick up two more on second down but a third down incompletion would lead to another punt.

Saints 6th Drive: The Saints would bring in their 3rd string QB, Tyler Palko, and he'd lead the Saints to another three points. The big play of the drive was another long pass that Aaron Francisco couldn't stop Adrian Arrington from bringing down for a 33 yard gain. Calais Campbell was also flagged for 15 yard, roughing the passer, penalty but Joe Tafoya stalled the Saints drive when he sacked Palko for a 10 yard loss. 

Cards 7th Drive: First downs were hard to come by for the Cardinals in the second half but St. Pierre completed a 16 yard pass to Ben Patrick to pick up the first one of the half. Unfortunately a sack, an imcomplete pass and a dump off pass to Hightower would lead to another punt.

Saints 7th Drive: Palko couldn't duplicate his success on his second drive and three quick incompletion led to a three-and-out. Linebacker, Chris Harrington almost recorded his second pick of  the season though when he broke up a pass intended for Lynell Hamilton.

Cards 8th Drive: St. Pierre came back out for his final drive but couldn't do anything more than another three-and-out. SteveCampbell_medium Baylark got his first carry of the preseason, picking up a yard, but an incompletion and a four yard pass to Rector would lead to yet another punt.

Saints 8th Drive: Two Saints runs netted four yards before Palko found Robert Meachem over the middle and a horrible display of tackling allowed Meacham to take the pass 60 yards to pay dirt. Several Cardinals had a chance to bring him down but the most blatant missed tackle was Michael Adams who had the last chance but dove into Meachem's legs instead of attempting an actual tackle.

Saints 9th Drive: Anthony Morelli was brought into the game in place of St. Pierre but the results would be pretty much the same. After a short run by Baylark, an incompletion and a sack, Dirk Johnson would be back out for another punt.

Saints 9th Drive: Palko would come back out and lead the Saints to a first down with a short pass and a seven yard gain from Hamilton. After a holding penalty on the Saints though, Palko would bobble the snap and Keilen Dykes would recover for the first turnover of the game.

Cards 10th Drive: Morelli's second drive would be a bit more successful but ultimately the result would be the same. After a false start penalty and an incompletion, Morelli completed his only two passes of the game for a total of 13 yards. Facing a fourth and two, the Cardinals went for it and Baylark rattled off his best run of the night with a seven yard gain. Three bad plays later though (2 incomplete passes and a sack) Dirk Johnson would be back out for his seventh and final punt of the game.

Saints 10th Drive: Eh, Palko and the Saints picked up two first downs then kneeled on the ball.

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All in all, not great but it could have been much worse. The Cardinals didn't have a single injury or turnover and that is enough of a reason to be thankful.

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