Arizona Cardinals defeat New Orleans Saints 31-19 in opener


The Arizona Cardinals put late defensive pressure on the New Orleans Saints to seal the victory on Sunday

The Arizona Cardinals started out quick.  They finished strong.  Everything in between was a bit of a blur but the Cardinals will take it as they came away with a 31-19 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium.

The Cardinals scored a touchdown on their first drive and one on their last drive.  They managed to hold on after being outscored by the Saints 19-17 in between.

Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer finished 19-31 for 307 yards and three touchdowns, all to different receivers.  He threw touchdowns to receiver John Brown, tight end Darren Fells, and rookie running back David Johnson.

The leading rusher for the Cardinals on Sunday was Andre Ellington.  He rushed 12 times for 69 yards and a touchdown.  The concern for him though is he left the game in the second half with an injury.  It is thought that Ellington injured his posterior cruciate ligament.  That is not usually a season ender.  More tests will need to come though.

There were a lot of mistakes though.  The Cardinals defense allowed Saints quarterback Drew Brees to throw for 355 yards and a touchdown.  He was intercepted once by safety Rashad Johnson.  They did hold the Saints rushing game to just 54 yards though.

“The things I looked at that are very major (mistakes) are easily correctable,” Cards coach Bruce Arians said per

The Cardinals were able to rush for 120 yards total, which believe it or not is an improvement.  Ellington had his 69 yards, Chris Johnson had 37 yards, and Palmer rushed for 14 yards. For today, I’ll take it.

Then there were the receivers.  John Brown caught his touchdown pass and had four receptions for 46 yards. The leading receiver was Larry Fitzgerald.  He had six catches for 87 yards.  Fells had four catches for 82 yards and touchdown as well.

The defense did have its moments despite the yardage surrendered. Safety Tyrann Mathieu had eight tackles and three passes defensed in addition to Rashad Johnson’s interception.

All in all, it is a win.  It is a win that counts.  Now the Cardinals move on to face the Chicago Bears next Sunday in Chicago before returning home for the following two weeks. 

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