The Cardinals offense started off well taking the opening drive 80 yards and capping it off with a Alfonso Smith touchdown run. From there out it was nothing but punts. The Cardinals were shut out with Carson Palmer getting sacked, pressured and hit all game long and was unable to get anything done. The Saints defensive line controlled the game and allowed the Saints to sit back in coverage.
On defense the boys fought well but gave up several big plays and three touchdowns to Jimmy Graham who got several one-on-one mismatches against Cardinals defenders. The Cardinals run defense was impressive until the Saints needed to run out the clock. Drew Bree’s threw for over 300 yards but it did take him over 44 attempts to do it. While many may be down on the defense, this game reminded me of Seattle last year where the offense did nothing to help the defense and consistently put them in bad positions. One big positive was rookie Tyrann Mathieu collecting his first INT against veteran and future HOFer Brees.
Finally to round it all out, the Cardinals vaunted special teams unit struggled mightily against the Saints allowing Darren Sproles several huge returns. Though in the end it didn’t really matter as the offense could move the ball.
Tough loss for Cardinals fans but not a loss one should hang their head too. The Cardinals traveled to one of the toughest stadiums in the NFL, against one of the best offenses in the NFL, in an early game. The Cardinals will have to do better against Tampa Bay next week.