Saints give Arizona Cardinals offense another shot at getting right
TEMPE — If you want to go far in the NFL, you got to put points on the board consistently, something the Arizona Cardinals have not accomplished yet in 2022.
Pay dirt has been at a premium for Arizona in the bottom 15 among NFL teams in terms of points per game with 19.
Much like last week, however, the Cardinals’ next opponent on the docket in the New Orleans Saints (2-4) presents another golden opportunity for the offense to find its groove.
But unlike the Week 6 debacle in Seattle — where the Cardinals were held out of the end zone offensively — Arizona must deliver on a short week.
“It’s always kind of weird,” quarterback Kyler Murray said Tuesday when asked about the quick turnaround. “You get two days and then it feels like the game’s already here. … You usually get a week off, you get to prepare, you get to recover the body.
“But with this short week for me, I look at it as a great opportunity. I love to play football, and it’s another opportunity to touch the field, especially after an (loss). I get another opportunity to go out there, compete and get a win.”
Entering Week 7, the Saints are allowing 26.3 points per game, fourth worst in the NFL. Despite being a middle-of-the-road defense when it comes to giving up yards to opposing offenses, the Saints have had little resistance when it comes to touchdowns, especially through the air.
Of the team’s 14 total touchdowns given up this season, nine have come off the arm of a signal caller. Last week against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Saints watched QB Joe Burrow put up his best game of the year with 300 yards and three touchdowns. He completed a season-high 75.7% of his passes in the victory.
The potential is there for Murray, who loses Hollywood Brown to injury but gains DeAndre Hopkins, to take over on the national stage. He just has to pick his spots.
Last week against the Seahawks, Murray turned in his worst game of the season through the air, completing 62.1% of his passes for 222 yards and an interception. He looked out of sync with his receivers behind a handful of underthrows and failed to finish despite great field position.
And while the Cardinals catch a break this week with Saints Pro Bowl cornerback Marshon Lattimore sidelined due to an abdomen injury, there’s still plenty of top-tier talent to contend with.
“You’ve got (Saints DE) Cam Jordan … Marshon … (Saints S Tyrann Mathieu) — a ton of names. A lot of great players,” Murray said Tuesday. “Very physical defense over the years. Since I’ve been a kid, they’ve been a great defense. The record, it’s not what they would like it to be right now, but we know they’re a great team.
“We know how they play. Offensively, we’ve got to score points. That’s what it comes down to. The defense is playing great defense right now, so we’ve got to do our job and score.”