Behind Enemy Lines brings you major storylines and breaking news for Arizona Cardinals opponents every week this season.
Fill up on Saints run game, fill up on defense
By The Associated Press
– The New Orleans Saints rushing game has averaged over 230 yards over the past two games, including 235 against Seattle in Week 5.
– Rookie wide receiver Rashid Shaheed, who was not drafted out of Weber State, showed exceptional speed when he scored a 44-yard touchdown on a throw sweep on his debut . Saints head coach Dennis Allen has indicated that Shaheed, called up last week by the practice squad, could remain on the active roster. Shaheed returns kicks now that Deonte Harty is on the injured list.
– Kicker Wil Lutz has made seven of his last eight field goal attempts, including one from 60 yards, and his only miss in the past three games has hit two posts at 61 yards.
– Quarterback Andy Dalton had his least effective game in his three starts. It didn’t help that the Saints’ top three receivers were out. But Dalton couldn’t convert into the clutch despite the Bengals’ defense being forced to respect New Orleans’ formidable running threat. Dalton completed 17 of 32 attempts for his lowest completion rate (53.1%) this season and lowest yardage total (162). The attack struggled in the red zone and couldn’t withstand any threatening training in the last 10 minutes.
That doesn’t mean Dalton won’t get a fourth straight start.
Allen said Winston was still “not 100%” healthy and noted the Saints averaged 30 points per game in Dalton’s three starts.
– Defensively, the Saints struggled to produce turnovers. Since Week 2, New Orleans has had two fumbles on non-special teams plays, and they’ve had just one interception all season.
“It’s not what we expected,” Allen said. “We made this point, that we need to be able to take the ball off more often and we haven’t been able to do that yet. So we’re working on it. »
Allen added that more pressure up front could force the type of rushing, inaccurate throws that are more likely to be intercepted.
Which QB will it be?
By Arizona Sports
New Orleans Saints head coach Dennis Allen is doing his best to keep the Arizona Cardinals guessing which quarterback will start Thursday during a visit to State Farm Stadium.
Or maybe he really doesn’t know.
Andy Dalton, in his first season with New Orleans, made the last three starts after Jameis Winston began missing after Week 3 with a back injury.
While Winston trained on a limited basis last week and was active for the game, Allen told reporters on Sunday after falling to the Bengals that it wasn’t necessarily a sign Winston would have been available this weekend. .
“The No. 1 thing is to get Jameis to where he is 100% healthy. Look, he was healthy enough to be the third emergency quarterback in this game last week. Part of that was manipulating the roster to get 48 guys on game days,” Allen told reporters. On Monday.
“Andy did a good job when he was there. We produced and scored points. Let’s get Jameis fully healthy and we’ll go from there.
Both quarterbacks went 1-2 in their starting trio.
Dalton threw for 585 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. The Saints beat the Seattle Seahawks during that stretch, but dropped three and four points respectively to the Minnesota Vikings and Cincinnati Bengals around the win.
Winston passed for 858 yards, four touchdowns and five interceptions with a 27-26 win over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1, followed by losses to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and then the Carolina Panthers before his injury.
New Orleans has been dealing with a slew of injuries outside of the quarterback lately. At receiver alone, they lost to Cincinnati, 30-26, with starters Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry and Chris Olave absent.
The Saints hammered the Bengals to the ground on Sunday, rushing 34 times for 228 yards, averaging 6.7 yards per carry.
Alvin Kamara led the way with 99 yards on 19 carries, while Mark Ingram (46 yards) and gimmick quarterback Taysom Hill (39 yards) also contributed. Rookie receiver Rashid Shaheed added 44 yards on his lone touchdown, his first career touchdown.
According to ESPN, it was the first time since 2005 that the team lost a game in which they exceeded the 200-yard rushing mark.