NFL

Saints remain undefeated over Cardinals

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South
New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham makes a reception over Arizona's Tyrann Mathieu in the Saints' 31-7 victory on Sunday afternoon. 
COURTESY PHOTO/ New Orleans Saints

NEW ORLEANS - The New Orleans Saints rode the play of its dominant defense and the brilliance of quarterback Drew Brees to a 31-7 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The victory improved the Saints to 3-0, their best start since the 2009 season.

Brees was under more pressure than usual but used his savvy and great pocket awareness to pick apart the Arizona secondary. He was 29 for 46 for 342 yards with three touchdown passes and one interception. He also scrambled seven yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown to help put the game away. It was the eighth consecutive game Brees has thrown for more than 300 yards, one short of his own NFL record. It was the 70th time he has passed for more than 300 yards; only Peyton Manning with 74 has more.

Brees' multiple TD game was the 101st of his career, tying him with Fran Tarkenton for fifth all time in NFL history.

Tight end Jimmy Graham was Brees' favorite target for the second consecutive week as the 6-foot-7 tight end hauled in nine passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Marques Colston caught five passes for 71 yards and Robert Meachem hauled in a 27-yard TD pass in the first quarter, his first score since re-joining the Saints earlier this month.

But the Saints' defense was just as big of a factor Sunday as Brees. For third consecutive game the defense held its opponent under 20 points and consistenly harassed Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer, who was 18 for 35 for 187 yards. Defensive ends Cameron Jordan and Junior Galetteenjoyed strong performances with Jordan registering two sacks and Galette one. Glenn Foster also had a sack.