How the Cardinals beat the Saints, explained by experts

Andy Dalton and Kyler Murray, quarterbacks of the New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Andy Dalton and Kyler Murray, quarterbacks of the New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Here’s how the Arizona Cardinals took down the New Orleans Saints, according to experts. 

The Arizona Cardinals beat the New Orleans Saints 42-34 on Thursday Night Football. The Cardinals made the most of turnovers after the Saints looked capable of mustering out a win early.

For Arizona, it appears as if it could earmark a turning point in the season. They improve to 3-4 and join the rest of their division foes who all have three wins. They returned DeAndre Hopkins, who was a force with over 100 yards on Thursday, and just traded for Robbie Anderson. Kyler Murray has weapons now.

For the Saints, it’s further confirmation that maybe the offseason plan was misguided and a rebuild is imminent, if not the outright best decision available.

Andy Dalton threw four interceptions and has fans ready to bring Jameis Winston back. Dalton has looked like the more methodical quarterback ready to make the easy and correct pass in lieu of the attempt for a huge play, but that patient mindset seemed to escape him on Thursday. Arizona took advantage.

Here’s what the experts have to say:

The Saints are just bad

Who Dat Dish’s Leigh Oleszczak had this to say in her column on what the Saints learned from the L:

"“After climbing back to 2-3 in Week 5, people started to think the Saints’ offense was okay and that this team might be salvageable. Haha NOPE. This is a bad football team, folks.If the defense is on point, Dalton throws two pick-sixes. If Dalton and Chris Olave have something cooking, the defense then forgets how to tackle. It’s like the two sides can’t play well at the same time or the world will end or something. I don’t know what the heck the deal is but if the offense is good, the defense is bad and vice versa. It’s beyond frustrating, man.”"

DeAndre Hopkins does his thing in first game back for Cardinals

Raising Zona’s Sion Fawkes pointed to DeAndre Hopkins and his ability to jump right back in as a huge asset for the Cardinals:

"“So what helped propel the Cardinals? A man named DeAndre Hopkins, who just returned to the lineup for the first time this season. With 10 receptions and 103 yards in his first game back, Hopkins’ presence once again pushed the sputtering Cardinals offense into the 30-point range, and over it with some supplementary work from Marco Wilson and Isaiah Simmons.”"

The loss is a reason for some to believe the entire Saints offseason has failed

Sports Illustrated discussed the impending rebuild that the Saints are marching toward because their entire offseason plan has failed. This writer wrote earlier this week that it’s time to commit to a rebuild.

"“The problem: What would happen if the post-Payton plan didn’t work out? And, seven weeks into the experiment, it very much looks like it’s not going to work out. In fairness to the Saints, one of Dalton’s wrong-way touchdowns was incidental, a kind of fluky tipped ball gifted to all teams now and then. In a global sense, their team has been absolutely decimated by injury with Thursday’s inactives looking a bit like a Pro Bowl roster. We haven’t even seen Trevor Penning, their other first-round pick in 2022, due to injury, and when Olave manages to get his hands on the ball, he looks great.”"

Saints turnovers are an ugly issue

Turnovers were a big deal. It’s tough to win a game with four interceptions. From Eric Edholm at

"“The Saints entered the game tied with the NFL’s most turnovers (13) and dead last in turnover ratio (minus-7). That number hit minus-10 by halftime, completely stalling the early game momentum they had established. Dalton’s first pick prevented the Saints from going up 14-3; a few blinks of the eye later, and they were down two scores. A lot of this clearly is on the Saints’ offense, as the quarterbacks alone have accounted for 10 turnovers through seven games. But the defense could do its part to help out and steal a few balls now and then. After creating three turnovers in the first two games, the unit has only three takeaways in five games since then. Sure, this group was gutted by injuries, especially on the back end. But one or two turnovers created in this game could have changed the script and perhaps kept them in the game longer.”"

The Cardinals play the Minnesota Vikings next Sunday and the Saints take on the Las Vegas Raiders.

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