Once again, the Saints dominated total yardage but struggled with their kicking game and red zone offense. This time around, it cost the defending champions a win.
Arizona beat the Saints 30-20 in Glendale, Arizona on the strength of four turnovers and two defensive touchdowns by the Cardinals. (The second defensive score ended the scoring with time running out.) Drew Brees threw three interceptions, but it was New Orleans’ struggles near the stripe that killed them.
On 13 plays in the red zone, the Saints gained 22 yards. John Carney missed a short field goal. Their passing attack finally uncorked some big plays and dominated the ball, but mistakes did them in.
Cardinalls undrafted rookie quarterback Max Hall was uneven in his first career start, but he showed a lot of toughness. Hall took some massive hits and appeared to hurt his knee and foot at different points. He played through it and completed 17-of-27 passes for 168 yards and an interception.
Compared to Derek Anderson, that’s progress.
The Saints have to regroup and find a way to score more points. The Cardinals, meanwhile, are sitting pretty heading into their bye.
Despite some awful efforts on the road, they are 3-2. As ESPN’s Mike Sando points out, they are the only NFC West team with a road victory and they don’t have a division loss yet.