New Orleans Saints vs. Arizona Cardinals: Scouting Report
The New Orleans Saints take a break from NFC South competition to welcome the Arizona Cardinals. On paper, this one looks like a guaranteed win for the Saints but the Cardinals and quarterback Carson Palmer look like a team that can be dangerous any given week.
Palmer, who is in his first season with the Cardinals, is working to get in sync with veteran star receiver Larry Fitzgerald and that has been slowed by a sore left hamstring problem that forced Fitzgerald to miss the end of the Cardinals' (1-1) home-opening win over Detroit on Sunday. The Saints, meanwhile, have jumped out to a 2-0 start due to clutch plays at the end in wins over NFC South foes Atlanta and Tampa in back-to-back weeks.
First-year head coach Bruce Arians and his veteran quarterback Carson Palmer are still working to get on the same page, but you can see the possibilities. In addition to Palmer, Arians brought in running back Rashard Mendenhall and made improvements to the offensive line to change the Cardinals' offensive fortunes. The game-breaker, wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, was already in place. It's just a matter of it all coming together and that has been slowed some by Fitzgerald's sore left hamstring.
In the meantime, Palmer is developing relationships with young receivers such as Michael Floyd, which will benefit the Cardinals as the season progresses. Arians doesn't run an offense quite as fast-paced at Philadelphia's Chip Kelly, but he believes they can get off 70 plays or more, though they have averaged just 64 plays per game through the first two games of the season.
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