Cardinals’ loss to the Saints: By the numbers
The Arizona Cardinals’ ninth straight road loss wasn’t pretty in New Orleans Sunday. Drew Brees and the Saints scored 31 unanswered points after allowing an opening touchdown and won easily by a final of 31-7.
Here’s a look back at Arizona’s 24-point loss by the numbers:
Tyrann Mathieu’s homecoming came with mixed results, as he found himself matched up on several occasions with Saints tight end Jimmy Graham. The rookie defensive back did, however, record his first career interception on a poorly thrown ball by Brees in the third quarter.
Carson Palmer threw two fourth quarter interceptions that all but sealed New Orleans’ rout of Arizona. Palmer has four interceptions in three games this season. By comparison, the Cardinals quarterback has thrown just three touchdowns.
With Dan Williams out due to a death in the family, Darnell Dockett stepped up his game in a big way. The Cardinals defensive lineman tied a career high with three sacks — doubling his total from 2012.
Alfonso Smith’s three-yard touchdown run capped an 80-yard drive five minutes and 47 seconds into the contest. Smith’s carry was the sixth by an Arizona running back on the day, however the Cardinals ran the ball just 10 more times the rest of the game.
St. Louis Rams tight end Jared Cook torched the Cardinals in Week 1 with seven catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns, and little changed in Week 3 for Bruce Arians and Co. Saints tight end Jimmy Graham proved to be a matchup nightmare, catching nine balls for 134 yards and two touchdowns.
Arizona had 10 possessions after its opening drive but failed to score even once. On those 10 possessions, the Cardinals punted eight times and turned the ball over twice.
The Cardinals’ special teams didn’t show any glaring deficiencies Sunday, but they did allow New Orleans’ Darren Sproles to average 17.7 yards on his three punt returns. Sproles also had four catches for 39 yards on offense.
Larry Fitzgerald wasn’t terribly limited by his hamstring in New Orleans. The All-Pro wideout led the team with five catches for 64 yards.
Left tackle Levi Brown wasn’t the only offensive lineman to blame for Carson Palmer’s lack of pass protection in the first half, however the former No. 5 overall pick struggled mightily to slow down Junior Galette. In the first half, Palmer was sacked three times, hit five times and pressured 10 times.
Drew Brees threw for 342 yards against Todd Bowles’ unit Sunday, marking the eighth straight game in which he’s gone over the 300-yard mark.
The Cardinals’ loss Sunday was their fourth straight in New Orleans. Arizona’s last victory in the Big Easy came 17 years to the day, Sept. 22, 1996.