Saints Reignite Quarterback Controversy in Loss to Cardinals

New Orleans Saints quarterback Andy Dalton threw away a chance to solidify his status as starter on Thursday Night Football against the Arizona Cardinals. In a largely hopeless 42-34 defeat, the veteran quarterback threw three first-half interceptions, including a back-breaking pair of pick-sixes in the final two minutes of the second quarter. All the yardage in the world couldn't redeem those blunders, and the Cardinals cruised to a comfortable victory.
Any hope Dalton had of holding off opening day starting quarterback Jameis Winston evaporated on Thursday night. Dalton had distinguished himself from the former first-overall pick by avoiding big mistakes, throwing only one interception in his first three appearances this year. Despite netting 361 yards with a vastly depleted receiving corps that was missing wide receivers Jarvis Landry and Michael Thomas, Dalton's performance was unforgivable tonight. The Saints will have ten days to self-scout before they face the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 8, but it will be hard to justify keeping Winston on the bench after Dalton just erased all the goodwill he earned.
As for the Cardinals, they got just about everything out of tonight's game they could have dreamed out of tonight's effort. Their 42 points aren't quite indicative of the game their offense played because of Dalton's turnovers, but they saw plenty of encouraging play. Returning All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins hit the ground running coming out of his six-game suspension, nabbing 10 of his 14 targets for 103 yards. Quarterback Kyler Murray played an efficient, largely mistake-free game, netting 189 passing yards and adding 30 yards on the ground. After ranking 22nd in scoring over the first six weeks, tonight's showing will go a long way towards building the team's confidence.

Looking ahead to Week 8, the Saints can look forward to a visit from the 1-4 Raiders, and the Cardinals will travel to Minneapolis to face the mighty 5-1 Minnesota Vikings.
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