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Saints lose 42-34 to Cardinals after imploding in the second quarter

New Orleans dished out pick-sixes like Halloween candy

Syndication: Arizona Republic Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

After a gutting home-loss to the Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday, the New Orleans Saints (2-4) had a quick turnaround, facing the Arizona Cardinals (2-4) in Arizona, in a Thursday night football game that felt like a must-win for both teams.

In the first half, the Saints would do something they haven’t done very often this season, score a first quarter touchdown to take a 7-0 lead when Andy Dalton found Rashid Shaheed for a 50-yard bomb behind the Cardinals defense.

Leading 7-3 after a Cardinals’ field goal, the Saints would drive all the way to the Cardinals’ 11-yard line when Andy Dalton would throw an interception in the end zone looking for a triple covered Marquez Callaway, and continuing New Orleans’ struggles in the red zone.

Arizona would capitalize by driving into the Saints’ red zone, but having to settle for a 28-yard field goal to narrow the Saints’ lead to one, at 7-6.

The Saints would then engineer a quick drive highlighted by a 64-yard catch-and-run reception by Kevin White, and punctuated by a Taysom Hill touchdown reception to make the score 14-6 in the second quarter.

Undeterred, the Cardinals would engineer a long drive of their own, eventually tying the game at 14 after a Keaontay Ingram touchdown run and a two-point conversion.

This is where things would unravel horribly for the Saints, as in the two-minute drive, Andy Dalton would throw an unfortunate pick six on an accurate pass thrown to Marquez Callaway that was tipped by Callaway and intercepted by Marco Wilson, giving the Cardinals a 20-14 lead after a missed extra point. On the ensuing drive, Dalton would throw his second consecutive pick-six, this time to Isaiah Simmons. A two-point conversion would give Arizona a 28-14 lead going into halftime, in a game that the Saints led 14-6 and seemed to be in control of. Welcome to the 2022 NFL season for your New Orleans Saints.

In the second half, the Saints’ defense would keep the Cardinals’ offense in check early, while New Orleans added a field goal to make the score 28-17. Following New Orleans’ first punt of the game, the Cardinals would then go on an 85-yard drive, ending with a touchdown pass from Kyler Murray to Greg Dortch to make the score 35-17 late in the third quarter.

New Orleans would find a way to get closer, with Andy Dalton finding Juwan Johnson for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to make the score 35-24 in favor of Arizona. The Cardinals however would take the ball once again and run down the Saints’ throat, on a defense decidedly disappointing this season. Arizona would add another touchdown on a run by Eno Benjamin to take a 42-24 lead in the middle of the fourth quarter, ending the game for all intents and purposes.

New Orleans would take the ball again, in garbage time to pad their yards and other statistics, with Andy Dalton finding Juwan Johnson once again for a touchdown, the tight end’s second of the night.

Leading 42-31, the Cardinals would recover a Saints’ onside kick and force New Orleans to burn their timeouts. Following a defensive stop, the Saints’ offense would take the ball again with no timeouts and muster only a field goal to make the game 42-34. That would be the final score, as Arizona would recover a second onside kick and end the game.

Below is a quarter-by-quarter recap of the game


First Quarter

  • Saints start with the ball and run the ball efficiently up to midfield. Andy Dalton then finds the revelation Rashid Shaheed for a 50-yard touchdown bomb!
  • NO: 7 - ARI: 0
  • Cardinals start at their 25-yard line and move into Saints’ territory in two passes. Arizona stalls and kicks a 50-yard field goal that Rodrigo Blankenship converts.
  • NO: 7 - ARI: 3
  • Saints start at their 25-yard line. On 3rd-and-11, Dalton finds Chris Olave and keeps the drive going. Saints move the ball to midfield. Saints get into Cards’ territory. Dalton finds Olave near the red zone. Saints get into the red zone running Alvin Kamara. Andy Dalton throws an interception in the end zone, which ends the Saints’ drive.
  • Cardinals take over at their 20-yard line and Kyler Murray runs for 18 yards on the first play. On the second play, Eno Benjamin runs for 45 yards to the Saints’ 20-yard line. Cardinals face a third-and-10 as the quarter ends.

Second Quarter

  • Kyler Murray runs for 10 yards and a first down. On 3rd-and-goal, Cardinals are called for a pass interference and settle for a field goal. Blankenship makes a 28-yarder.
  • NO: 7 - ARI: 6
  • Saints start at their 25-yard line. On 3rd-and-2, Dalton finds Kevin White for a 64-yard catch-and-run to the 3-yard line.
  • Dalton finds Taysom Hill for a touchdown pass in the flat.
  • NO: 14 - ARI: 6
  • Cardinals start at their 25-yard line and take the ball into Saints’ territory. Murray finds DeAndre Hopkins to the Saints’ 30-yard line. A holding on New Orleans’ Justin Evans keeps the drive alive for Arizona. Cards get into the red zone and on 4th-and-one from the Saints’ 4-yard line, they go for it. Murray converts and Keaontay Ingram runs into the end zone for a touchdown. Arizona goes for a two-point conversion and makes it.
  • NO: 14 - ARI: 14
  • Saints take over at their 25-yard line with 2:28 left in the half. Alvin Kamara gains 10 yards on a run at the two-minute warning. Andy Dalton passes to Marquez Callaway, who tips the ball. It is picked off by Marco Wilson and returned for a touchdown. Blankenship misses the extra point.
  • NO: 14 - ARI: 20
  • Saints take over at their 25-yard line and move the ball On 3rd-and-10, Andy Dalton throws another interception, this one is returned for a touchdown as well by Isaiah Simmons. Cardinals go for two and convert.
  • NO: 14 - ARI: 28
  • Saints kneel and go into halftime having given up 22 unanswered points.


Third Quarter

  • Cardinals return the kickoff to their 25-yard line and go three-and-out.
  • Saints take over at their 38-yard line and move into Cardinals’ territory on a long pass from Taysom Hill to Chris Olave for 41 yards into the red zone.
  • Saints stall on 3rd-and-goal and Wil Lutz makes a short field goal.
  • NO: 17 - ARI: 28
  • Cardinals start at their 25-yard line. On third down, Kyler Murray is sacked and Arizona punts.
  • Saints start at their 46-yard line but cannot move the ball. Saints punt for the first time of the night.
  • Cardinals take over at their 15-yard line and move the ball into Saints’ territory. Murray finds Hopkins several times to get into the Saints’ red zone. Keaontay Ingram gets inside the 5-yard line. Murray finds Greg Dortch for a touchdown.
  • NO: 17 - ARI: 35
  • Saints take over at their 25-yard line and promptly go three-and-out after three passes from Dalton. Blake Gillikin punts and pins the Cards at their 9-yard line.
  • Cardinals start at their 9-yard line and a defensive holding pushes them out of their red zone. Kyler Murray is sacked on third down and Cardinals punt.
  • Saints cross midfield as they are now playing in hurry up mode. Dalton finds Juwan Johnson into the end zone for a touchdown.
  • NO: 24 - ARI: 35
  • Cardinals return the kickoff to their 34-yard line. Arizona works to midfield and a facemask penalty on Cam Jordan puts the ball into Saints’ territory. Cardinals get inside the red zone and run the clock down as the Saints’ defense is unable to get off the field. Eno Benjamain runs into the end zone for a touchdown.
  • NO: 24 - ARI: 42
  • Saints take over at their 25-yard line as they set out to pad their stat line. New Orleans drives into Cardinals territory and into the red zone as Arizona plays prevent defense. On 4th-and-3, Saints get a first-and-goal on a pass from Dalton to Callaway. Dalton finds Juwan Johnson for a touchdown.
  • NO: 31 - ARI: 42
  • Saints onside kick, and Arizona recovers at the 39-yard line. Cardinals face a 3rd-and-6 and stall and punt.
  • Saints start at their 20-yard line after a touchback. Dalton finds Tre’Quan Smith and Chris Olave near midfield at the two-minute warning. Saints get into Cardinals’ territory. Saints stall and elect to kick a field goal with Wil Lutz who makes a 45-yarder.
  • NO: 34 - ARI: 42
  • Saints kick a second onside kick that Arizona recovers again to end the game.
  • Cardinals win, Saints fall to 2-5 on the season.


Can the Saints still make the playoffs?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Yes, the NFC South sucks!
    (20 votes)
  • 27%
    No, fire everybody!
    (53 votes)
  • 44%
    Playoffs? Playoffs??? You kiddin’ me?
    (86 votes)
  • 10%
    Yes, if injured players can come back
    (20 votes)
  • 7%
    When will the quadruple cheeseburger make a comeback?
    (15 votes)
194 votes total Vote Now