Cardinals use two pick-6s in first half to down Saints 42-34

Oct 20, 2022, 8:37 AM | Updated: 9:58 pm
Arizona Cardinals cornerback Marco Wilson (20) celebrates his pick six touchdown interception with ...

Arizona Cardinals cornerback Marco Wilson (20) celebrates his pick six touchdown interception with cornerback Antonio Hamilton and injured running back James Conner, right, during the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

              Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) celebrates during the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
            
              New Orleans Saints head coach Dennis Allen watches from the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
            
              Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) scrambles during the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
            
              New Orleans Saints quarterback Andy Dalton (14) reacts after throwing his second interception that was returned for a touchdown, during the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
            
              Arizona Cardinals cornerback Marco Wilson leaps into the end zone as he returns an inception for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
            
              Arizona Cardinals cornerback Marco Wilson (20) celebrates his pick six touchdown interception with cornerback Antonio Hamilton and injured running back James Conner, right, during the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Cardinals were trailing late in the first half when cameras caught coach Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray in a heated verbal exchange while star receiver DeAndre Hopkins played the role of peacemaker.

Murray’s message to his irate coach: “Calm down, we’re good. We’re going to make it right.”

Murray — and the Cardinals defense — made sure his prediction was true.

Marco Wilson and Isaiah Simmons scored touchdowns on two pick-6s late in the first half and used that stunning change in momentum to lift the Cardinals over the New Orleans Saints 42-34 on Thursday night.

The Cardinals (3-4) snapped an eight-game home losing streak that was the franchise’s longest since 1958.

The game was tied at 14 when Saints quarterback Andy Dalton threw the game-changing interceptions on consecutive drives that were barely a minute apart. The first one wasn’t necessarily his fault, but the second one was.

The first came when Saints receiver Marquez Callaway bobbled a potential catch. Wilson was there to pluck it out of the air and then sprinted 38 yards to the end zone, diving over the goal line for a 20-14 lead.

The second happened when Dalton tried to throw over the middle. Simmons corralled the interception with one hand and then ran 56 yards down the right sideline for the score and a 28-14 lead. The Cardinals crowd — which hadn’t seen a win since Oct. 24 of last season against the Texans — roared its approval.

“For the first time all season, we could play with the lead and lean on it,” Kingsbury said. “It definitely helped.”

From there, the Cardinals had control. The Saints pulled within 28-17 early in the third, but Murray found Greg Dortch for a 5-yard touchdown to push Arizona ahead 35-17.

Murray completed 20 of 29 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown.

New Orleans (2-5) has lost five of its last six games. Dalton threw for 361 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions.

It was another frustrating loss for the Saints in a season that’s quickly unraveling.

“The three takeaways were killers in the game,” Saints coach Dennis Allen. “We’ve got to fix some of these issues, that’s my responsibility.”

The Saints led 7-3 late in the first quarter and looked as if they were going to score another touchdown, but Cardinals cornerback Antonio Hamilton intercepted Dalton’s pass in the end zone.

New Orleans did push ahead 14-6 in the second on a 3-yard touchdown pass to Taysom Hill. The touchdown was set up by a 64-yard catch and run by Kevin White, who barely stayed in-bounds as he ran down the left sideline to Arizona’s 3-yard line. White was elevated to the active roster from the practice squad before the game.

HAPPY HOP

The Cardinals welcomed back Hopkins, a three-time All-Pro who was suspended for the first six games of the season after violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

Hopkins finished with 10 catches for 102 yards. He couldn’t be with the team for much of the suspension, but said he worked hard to stay in shape.

“I don’t know where he’s been or what he’s been doing, but it worked,” Kingsbury said.

Newly-acquired receiver Robbie Anderson — who had been with the team just three days since being acquired in a trade with the Panthers — was also active and on the field for a few plays. He didn’t record a catch.

BAD COMPANY

Dalton was just the fourth quarterback since 2010 to throw two pick-6s in the first half. The others are Josh Rosen, Tony Romo and Colin Kaepernick.

NICE PLAY, ROOK

Dalton — starting his fourth straight game for the injured Jameis Winston — had a beautiful long throw on the first drive, connecting with rookie Rashid Shaheed for a 53-yard touchdown.

Shaheed was an undrafted free agent who made a big impact for a second straight week with his early touchdown.

He was brought up from the practice squad before last week’s game against the Bengals and showed blazing speed when he took a handoff on a jet sweep 44 yards for a touchdown on his first offensive play with the ball in the NFL.

INJURIES

Saints: Both starting CBs Marshon Lattimore (abdomen) and Paulson Adebo (knee) were inactive. So were starting LG Andrus Peat (chest), WR Jarvis Landry (ankle), WR Michael Thomas (foot) and TE Adam Trautman (ankle). … CB Bradley Roby (ankle) was carted off the field in the first quarter.

Cardinals: LB Dennis Gardeck (ankle), K Matt Prater (hip), RB James Conner (ribs), C Rodney Hudson (knee) and RB Darrel Williams (knee) were all inactive. … DL Rashard Lawrence (shoulder) was carted off the field in the first quarter.

UP NEXT

Saints: Host the Raiders on Oct. 30.

Cardinals: Travel to face the Vikings on Oct. 30.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://apnews.com/hub/nfl

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Switzerland's midfielder Granit Xhaka, right, and Switzerland's midfielder Denis Zakaria, left, rea...
Associated Press

Switzerland falls again to first World Cup knockout punch

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Switzerland exited the World Cup at the round of 16 stage, just as it usually does in the modern era. A 6-1 rout by Portugal on Tuesday left little space for feeling that progress was made, even if the squad was hit by a bout of sickness in Qatar. Switzerland’s quest […]
1 day ago
Morocco's head coach Walid Regragui is thrown in the air at the end of the World Cup round of 16 so...
Associated Press

The next World Cup will jump to 48 teams. Is bigger better?

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The next World Cup will be the biggest ever after world soccer body FIFA took the leap from a 32-team field to 48 teams in 2026. It means more of soccer’s so-called “little teams” that didn’t make it to Qatar will be given a chance of a lifetime when the tournament […]
1 day ago
A sunken vehicle sit in the Mesaieed sea-line at the GMC dive site in Mesaieed, Qatar Wednesday, No...
Associated Press

AP PHOTOS: World Cup fans explore Qatar’s artificial reefs

MESAIEED, Qatar (AP) — Thirty feet (9 meters) deep into the waters of the Persian Gulf, angel fish swim in and out of rusted trucks and SUVs. Plastic bags and water bottles, blown in from the nearby shoreline, float across the ocean floor. World Cup fans in Qatar hoping to see some of the Gulf’s […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Cone scores 24 as Northern Arizona takes down Pacific 73-69

STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) — Jalen Cole had 24 points in Northern Arizona’s 73-69 victory against Pacific on Tuesday. Cone shot 6 for 12 (3 for 4 from 3-point range) and 9 of 10 from the free-throw line for the Lumberjacks (4-7). Xavier Fuller scored 18 points and added 10 rebounds. Nik Mains recorded nine points […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Blackshear’s 22 help Nevada knock off Pepperdine 85-77

MALIBU, Calif. (AP) — Kenan Blackshear had 22 points in Nevada’s 85-77 win against Pepperdine on Tuesday. Blackshear was 7 of 15 shooting, including 2 for 4 from distance, and went 6 for 7 from the line for the Wolf Pack (8-2). Jarod Lucas scored 18 points while going 5 of 10 from the floor, […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Rodriguez scores 21 as Idaho St. beats Montana-Western 61-53

POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) — Jared Rodriguez had 21 points in Idaho State’s 61-53 victory against Montana-Western on Tuesday. Rodriguez shot 7 for 10 (4 for 5 from 3-point range) and 3 of 4 from the free throw line for the Bengals (3-7). Brock Mackenzie scored 13 points while shooting 5 for 8, including 3 for […]
1 day ago
Cardinals use two pick-6s in first half to down Saints 42-34