The New Orleans Saints are enjoying a season where their explosive offense is finally being caught up on by a defense that has struggled for years. Sadly though, the offensive hasn't had the same spark that it has had in recent years. On Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, the Saints needed both sides of the ball to work well as the Arizona Cardinals came to town.
It took a while, but the boys in black and gold did just that as they defeated the Cardinals 31-7.
Drew Brees and the Saints are enjoying the success that their defense is finally having, thanks to new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. While so far, it has truly helped New Orleans sit on top of the NFC South through three weeks, the team has to make sure their offense keeps up with the other side of the ball.
In a game that was filled with punts and sacks from both teams, the Saints were able to methodically take charge of the game and take down the Arizona Cardinals, who now sit at 1-2. New Orleans advanced to a 3-0 record on the season.
On the opening drive, the Cardinals marched 80 yards and got into the end zone after a three-yard run by running back Alfonso Smith. It appeared as if Arizona was going to do as they pleased from that point on.
From there, the Cardinals punted on eight straight possessions before finally putting together a drive at the start of the fourth quarter. That didn't end in a punt, but it did end in the first interception of rookie Kenny Vaccaro's career.
New Orleans' offense staggered at times, and again struggled in the red zone, but they did more than enough to keep the lead. Robert Meachem felt right at home for the Saints' first score as he was welcomed back to the team that drafted him with a 27-yard touchdown score.
Brees had yet another 300-yard passing game, and that made eight in a row. He is coming up on his own NFL record of nine consecutive that he set a couple of years ago.
Many may look at the Saints' statistics and the game score and think that there are no problems with the offense. Jimmy Graham had another massive game that included over 100 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Marques Colston quietly had a great game.
Still, when Brees is the leading rusher, there's a problem. The running game is indeed an issue for the Saints, and they hope to improve it next Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.
Luckily, the Saints defense is playing over par as they hounded Carson Palmer all day. Cameron Jordan had two sacks, Junior Galette had one, and Glenn Foster had another. Palmer threw two interceptions and the Cardinals didn't even have 300 yards of total offense.
Oh, and one more thing. The Saints are 3-0, and the last time that happened; New Orleans went to the Super Bowl and won it.
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