They say defense wins championships. Thank goodness championships are not won in the preseason, or this could be a long one. Backed by almost 400 yards of offense, the New Orleans Saints easily defeated the Arizona Cardinals 24-10 at University of Phoenix Stadium on Thursday evening.
New Orleans quarterbacks Tyler Palko and Mark Brunell each threw for more than 100 yards and started Drew Brees threw a touchdown in his only series. Granted, Arizona starters only played a two to three series each. However, the Saints didn’t start nine of their regulars. This leaves the obvious observation – the Cardinals have work to do. They left Saints receivers open too many times and ended up getting burned on several long passes.
The Cardinals didn’t look particularly inspired in the second half. Brian St. Pierre definitely does not look like the answer as the third starter, but what can you do. Right now, he’s a step up from fourth stringer Anthony Morelli, but that’s not saying much. Matt Leinart did look pretty good. Kurt Warner did not take the field in the loss.
Also looking impressive was rookie running back Tim Hightower. Hightower only carried the ball five times for 23 yards, however, it was the way he went about those carries that was impressive. He looks like he has the number two spot behind Edgerrin James right now. It was nice to see Edge again. Yep, he looked good standing on the sidelines. He made a brief appearance carrying the ball two times. I can’t imagine he even broke a sweat. Don’t expect much more than that before the season opener from Edge. I’d be surprised if he gets five more carries in August. They shouldn’t even dress the man. He’d probably break more of a sweat staying home and running between the couch and the refrigerator watching the game on television.
I was left with a couple of other impressions in the first game of the preseason. Fullback Terrelle Smith looked good. That run after catch that led to the Cardinals only touchdown early in the second quarter was nice to see. Also looking good was receiver Steve Breaston. He made a nice 34 yard catch during the touchdown drive. I think he’s a step closer to nailing down the third receiver spot. I would have liked to see more from receiver Lance Long and back J.J. Arrington.
Also not sounding too sharp was the crew from ESPN. Tony “comb-over” Kornheiser has not gotten any better. In fact, I believe he has become more annoying, if that is possible. He made it clear he is not very impressed with the Arizona Cardinals now or in the past. If he made one more negative remark regarding the history of the Cardinals, I was ready to write a letter to ESPN Management. We get it – Arizona hasn’t made the playoffs since 1998. They haven’t been very good. We know. Get over it. I have. You have to look forward. I thought Mike Tirico actually did a good job in spots trying to defend the redbirds when Tony wouldn’t shut it. An exchange in the 4th quarter between the two. Tony: “The Cardinals haven’t made the playoffs since 1998, and then 1898 before that.” Tirico: “No, cmon, they were 8-8 last year”. Granted that didn’t mean they made the playoffs, however, Tirico was trying to point out the Cardinals are a team on the rise and aren’t nearly as bad as Kornholio makes them out to be.
So, time to move on. Looking forward to the next week, the Cardinals will be headed back up the hill to Flagstaff for more training camp. The next game is next Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City against the Chiefs.
Now that the Favre story is finally finished, it’s time to move on to the next ESPN 24/7 story. I’m starting the rumor that ESPN is talking to the Noggin Channel about a trade involving Korn-boy in exchange for Oswald the Octopus.
Let’s get em next week boys. Go Cards!
Topics: Anthony Morelli, Arizona Cardinals, Arrowheadaddict.com, Brian St. Pierre, Edgerrin James, Espn, Flagstaff, Jj Arington, Kansas City Chiefs, Lance Long, Mark Brunell, Matt Leinart, Mike Tirico, New Orleans Saints, Noggin, Oswald The Octopus, Steve Breaston, Terrelle Smith, Tim Hightower, Tony Kornheiser, Tyler Panko, University Of Phoenix Stadium, Whodatdish.com