Brees Shows No Ill Effects, Saints Win 31-9
Drew Brees has returned...with a vengeance.
The New Orleans Saints quarterback threw for 371 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Saints to a 31-9 win over the Arizona Cardinals, the sixth straight win for the Black and Gold.
Brees completed 34-43 passes, with Michael Thomas hauling in eleven receptions for 112 yards and a touchdown
Latavius Murray, filling in for the injured Alvin Kamara, sparkled for the second straight week, carrying the ball 21 times for 102 yards and a touchdown, while catching nine balls for another 51 yards and a score.
New Orleans missed a field goal attempt on its first possession and Arizona got a long pass completion from Kyler Murray to Charles Clay for 47 yards. The drive reached the New Orleans 14 yard line. Zane Gonzales' 31 yard field goal gave the Cardinals an early 3-0 lead.
The Saints came right back with a drive of their own. Brees' completion to Taysom Hill for 22 yards helped to set up a Wil Lutz field goal of 26 yards to tie the game.
Following an Arizona punt, the Saints put together a drive of 71 yards in seven plays. Brees had completions of 28 and 16 yards to Thomas to set up an eight yard run by Murray to give the Saints a 10-3 lead with 8:59 to play in the first half.
Arizona got a second field goal from Gonzales on its next possession to cut the lead to 10-6. The Saints had one more opportunity, but Brees' touchdown pass to Dan Arnold was nullified by a holding call on Teron Armstead on the final play of the first half.
The Saints forced a punt on Arizona's first possession, but Brees suffered an interception on the Saints' first drive of the second half. Arizona was stopped on fourth down from its own 30, giving the Saints a short field. Brees made the Cardinals pay with a 15 yard touchdown pass to Murry to increase the Saints' lead to 17-6.
Arizona got a field goal from Gonzales from 50 yards, his third of the game to cut the lead to eight, but the Saints immediately drove 75 yards on seven plays. Brees completed passes to Ted Ginn, Jr. for 28 yards and Josh Hill for 29 before hitting Taysom Hill on a five yard touchdown to increase the lead to 24-9.
Arizona threatened in the fourth quarter but turned the ball over on downs at the Saints' 27 and it took the Saints only three plays to get into the end zone. Murray rambled for 28 yards, Brees hit Hill down the sideline for 36 and then found Michael Thomas for his third touchdown pass of the afternoon, this one from nine yards out to make it 31-9 with just over five minutes to play.
Arizona (3-4-1), playing without running back David Johnson, couldn't get into end zone against the Saints' defense. Quarterback Kyler Murray completed 19-33 passes for 220 yards. He was sacked three times.