Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/9/14
Coming into Sunday’s matchup at the Superdome, the Saints were heavily favored, and they played like it, defeating the Arizona ,Cardinals 31-7 in domination fashion. Drew Brees threw for 342 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, Jimmy Graham caught nine passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns, and the Saints picked off Carson Palmer twice en route to win to go to 3-0 on the season. The Cardinals, on the other hand, fall to 1-2 on the season. Bruce Arians will have plenty to talk about in the film study, as the Cardinals failed to get anything going after the opening touchdown-scoring drive. After that, the Saints scored 31 unanswered points, and dominated the Cards on almost every facet of the game. After a reassuring performance against Detroit last week, Arizona’s offensive line played poorly to say the least, giving up four sacks and nine quarterback hits on Carson Palmer, whose statline suffered due to the fact: 18 for 35 with 187 yards and 2 interceptions. One storyline I believe deserves special mention: Cardinals starting defensive tackle Dan Williams did not play today, as his father died in a car crash on his way to watch his son play. It’s truly a tragedy that demands some perspective, and I implore that thoughts and prayers are with Dan and his family. Here’s a look at some of the winners and losers for Arizona. Winners Running Game I know that it feels like I say this week after week, but I am really pleased with how Arians and Keim have turned this league-worst running game around. Collectively, the unit ran for 86 yards on 16 carries (a 5.4 average) and scored the lone touchdown on an Alfonso Smith stretch. On that opening drive, Bruce Arians even sent out backup tackle Nate Potter out as a tight end for some extra beef, and it paid off well. The Cardinals were facing a deficit for the rest of the afternoon was used sparingly, but this unit responded when called upon, with three runs of 10 or more yards. Out of sixteen carries, that’s a sizable proportion. Darnell Dockett Last season, Darnell Dockett played 15 games and notched 1.5 sacks for the season. Sunday against the Saints, Dockett doubled that, reaching Drew Brees three times. With Calais Campbell opposite of him, a 3-4 defense is crazy scary with two defensive ends that can consistently reach the quarterback. Ay, there’s the rub… consistency. Either way, Darnell Dockett did his part, and will look to duplicate the effort next week against Tampa Bay. Tyrann Mathieu Tyrann Mathieu responded to his homecoming exceptionally well, picking off Drew Brees and amassing 10 tackles on the day. The interception was a thing of beauty, as Mathieu’s ball skills were on full display as he contorted for the overthrown ball. It’s a small consolation prize for an otherwise ugly loss, but Mathieu gave his hometown fans something to cheer about. Plus, another play to add to his highlight reel is always nice. For blame that isn’t his own, however, Mathieu was met with too many occasions where he covered Jimmy Graham. I like the Honey Badger a lot, but I don’t like putting him in situations like that, and it seems like it happened far too much. He responded fearlessly, as usual, but I hope it doesn’t become a recurring issue.   Losers Carson Palmer The statline I threw out above tells the story, and tells it well. Carson Palmer was under fire all game and didn’t play as well as he should have to keep the Cardinals in the game. I know it’s not all on him, but his two interceptions were very carelessly thrown, and could just as easily have thrown a third when he and Housler miscommunicated early in the second half. For the first half, Andre Ellington was the leading receiver for the Cardinals, better illustrating just how unable he was at getting the ball to Floyd, Roberts and Fitzgerald. Sam Acho’s injury After notching Arizona’s second sack of the game, starting outside linebacker Sam Acho was carted off the field, and wouldn’t return to the field. After the game, @TheSamAcho tweeted a picture of his left foot in a boot, captioned: “God has a plan. And His plan is the best plan. If it could be done any better, He would do it. #LFG #TrustGod” Hopefully Acho won’t miss too much playing time, but foot injuries are always tricky to deal with. Stay tuned for next week, as the Cardinals take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium! Kickoff is Sep 29 at 1:00PM ET.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

NFLPA President compares Goodell to a 2-year-old

NFL explains how Super Bowl balls will be prepped

Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao close to deal for fight

TJ Lang: Suh wanted to fight me after stepping on Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Hernandez jurors allowed to watch Super Bowl

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Tiger misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Rex Ryan: Seahawks need to ‘take the air out of the football’

J.J. Watt buys cabin in the middle of nowhere to train

Six teams have done background work on Peterson

NBA set to earn $700M through streaming deal in China

Wade Phillips is the best coordinator hire this offseason

WATCH: Serena Williams loses point for yelling "come on!"

Report: Missy Elliott joining Katy Perry for halftime show

WATCH: Jimmy Butler throws down half-court alley-oop

President Obama zings Patriots over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's Player Of The Year candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots-Seahawks

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Most unexpected MLB free agent signings of past 10 years

Five most villainous Super Bowls of all time

Super Bowl ad focuses on acceptance of gay athletes

Foster says UT boosters paid him $40-50K while in college

Ranking the repeat Super Bowl champions

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Missy Elliott to join Katy Perry at SB?

Obama zings Pats over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's POY candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots vs. Seahawks

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Tiger Woods, misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Ranking the repeat SB champions

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate

Katy Perry, Russell Wilson dating?

Rex Ryan has advice for Seahawks

Super Bowl: Things you can't control

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.