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(Sunday, October 10th)
Final Score: Arizona 30, New Orleans 20
Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - Max Hall went 17-for-27 for 168 yards in his first NFL start and Jay Feely kicked three field goals to lead Arizona to a 30-20 win over New Orleans at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Larry Fitzgerald made seven receptions for 93 yards, while Kerry Rhodes and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie scored defensive touchdowns for the Cardinals (3-2), who have won nine consecutive games following a loss.
Drew Brees connected on 24-of-39 throws for 294 yards and two touchdowns, but was intercepted three times for the Saints (3-2), who have lost two of their last three games.
Trailing 23-13, the Saints got the ball back at their own 20-yard line with 3:25 to go in the game.
An 18-yard catch and run by Jeremy Shockey and two completions to Robert Meachem got the Saints to the Cardinals' 35 at the two minute warning.
After offsetting penalties, Brees escaped an on-rushing defender and delivered the ball just as he was hit by Darnell Dockett to find Meacham in the end zone to make it a 23-20 game with 1:49 left.
The Saints onside kick attempt, however, was recovered by Larry Fitzgerald, and the Cardinals took possession after declining an offsides penalty.
Hall completed a pass on third down to Ben Patrick, who was stripped by Roman Harper. The defensive back leapt toward the sidelines and tossed the bouncing ball back toward the field of play, where it was recovered shy of the first down by Fitzgerald.
Ben Graham's punt from the 30 then pinned the Saints back at their own nine with 24 ticks to go. Brees was picked off on the first play by Rodgers- Cromartie, who ran 28 yards for the score to sew up the win.
"There were too many things that are going to keep us from winning games," said New Orleans head coach Sean Payton. "We failed again early in the red zone to be as efficient as we'd like. Turnovers, kick coverage units, even the penalties, those are all disappointing."
Feely's 29-yard field goal capped a 10-play, 69-yard drive that gave the hosts their first lead at 16-13 with 11:39 to play.
On the second play of the ensuing Saints possession, Ladell Betts was stripped of the ball by Dockett, and it was recovered by Rhodes, who dashed 27 yards to the end zone to give the Cardinals a 10-point lead exactly one minute later.
New Orleans moved 36 yards on seven plays on its first possession and took a 3-0 lead on John Carney's 31-yard field goal just over five minutes into the game. The drive was set up by a Jabari Greer interception and return to the Cardinals' 49-yard line.
Brees found Shockey all alone in the back of the end zone from a yard away to finish off an 11-play, 76-yard drive with 1:30 to go in the quarter to give the visitors a 10-0 lead.
Feely's 37-yard boot 3:45 into the second quarter got the hosts on the board.
The Cardinals were thwarted on their next drive and pinned the Saints at their own one-yard line on a 40-yard punt by Graham.
Brees was intercepted on the first play by Paris Lenon at the four, which led to an uncommon tying touchdown.
Three plays later, Hall rolled away from pressure and was sandwiched by multiple Saints defenders at the two and fumbled the ball. Tackle Levi Brown scooped it up one hop and dived into the end zone for his first career score to even the game with 2:19 remaining in the half. The play was reviewed and the ruling on the field was upheld.
"I'm really proud of the way he played," Fitzgerald said about Hall. "The guy fought and scrapped and showed he is the ultimate competitor. I haven't seen a guy take a hit like that down on the goal line in a while. He got himself back up and shook off the cob webs and made some big plays for us."
The Saints regained the lead with 1:10 to go before the break on Carney's 32- yard field goal. Brees connected deep down the middle with Devery Henderson for 39 yards to set up the go-ahead boot.
Arizona knotted the score again with 9:04 left in the third quarter on a 44- yard Feely field goal. The drive was kept alive when Alan Faneca recovered a Hall fumble at the Saints' 34.
New Orleans reached the Cardinals' four-yard line on its next touch but was stifled and had to settle for a 29-yard field goal try Carney that he hooked left as the game remained tied.
The last time the Cardinals lost back-to-back games was December 14-21, 2008. Arizona leads the all-time series, 14-12...The Cardinals had lost seven of the prior 10 meetings since their move to Arizona in 1988...Rhodes also brought a fumble back for a score in last week's game...Beanie Wells was held to 35 yards on 20 carries for Arizona, while Betts paced the visitors' rushing attack with 44 yards on 10 tries...Chris Ivory ran for 39 yards on 10 totes for the Saints, who played without Pierre Thomas...Marques Colston was the Saints top receiver, making seven catches for 97 yards...Betts added five receptions for 26 yards and Meachem contributed four catches for 72 yards.
10/10 21:59:21 ET