Sigh... Where do we begin with this game? Arizona came into this week with an air of hope after picking up their first win in the Bruce Arians era. The game started off just the way you would hope it would for Arizona too, with an 11 play 80 yard drive, capped off with Alfonso Smith running in the ball for the score.
The Defense would then allow the Saints into the endzone on their first drive, and this game was looking like it was going to be an offensive showdown. However, the Cardinals would falter punting the ball on 8 straight drives, despite excellent field position on nearly every drive.
Carson Palmer was 18/35, 187 yards, and 2 INT's. Arizona seemed to abandon the run game following the Saints opening score, despite it being hugely effective. We all know Arians is a coach who loves to pass, but I seriously begin to question him after he abandoned the successful part of our offense far to early.
The O-Line was horrible, allowing the Saints defense to sack Palmer 7 times, making that 12 sacks on him already this season.
The Saints were actually contained for much of the game. It was only 17-7 at the end of the third quarter, and it was the fourth quarter where the Saints closed the game.
Defensively we were solid for much of the game. We bent, but only broke in the fourth quarter. Todd Bowles, after his solid scheming last week, was horrible this week. Jimmy Graham was left in single... Yes you read that correctly... SINGLE coverage, with Yeremiah Bell, Tyrann Mathieu, and Patrick Peterson. You would figure that after Graham dominated the secondary in the first half, you would add help over the top. Wasn't the case.
The run defense finally gave in, allowing Drew Brees to scramble 7 yards for the Saints score to put them up 24-7 in the fourth quarter. and allowing 104 rush yards, despite starting the game holding the saints to -6 rush yards on 3 carries in the first half. Khirry Robinson had the Saints longest run from scrimmage of the year (21 yards).
There were three key injuries early in the game to S Rashad Johnson, and LB's Lorenzo Alexander & Sam Acho. Alexander left in the second quarter and would not return, nor would Johnson and Acho, who went down in the third quarter.
Arians seemed worried with the injuries, saying that there were multiple guys who could be out for the year, and Acho seemed like one of them, after he tweeted out a picture of himself in a walking boot.
The Cardinals will not return to Arizona, and instead are in Florida to practice for next weeks game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.