NFL Thursday Night: Interceptions sink Saints

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Thursday Night’s Week 7 game delivered what the last two ‘Thursday Night Football’ TV shows on Prime Video lacked – points – as the Arizona Cardinals beat the New Orleans Saints 42-34 .

Thursday night game last week totaled 19 points, and the week before thatit was 21 – and it took overtime to get it.

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The Cardinals topped that by scoring 22 points in 1:42 of the second quarter. After running back Keaontay Ingram reached the end zone on a 2-yard run to cap a 13-play, 75-yard drive with 2:28 left in the first half, cornerback Marco Wilson returned a 38-yard interception for a touchdown with 1:50 left in the first half and LB Isaiah Simmons returned a 56-yard interception for a touchdown 1:04 later as Arizona took a 28-14 lead at half-time.

After throwing touchdown passes 53 yards to wide receiver Rashid Shaheed and 3 yards to Taysom Hill, Saints quarterback Andy Dalton fell victim to both interceptions. Dalton threw two more TD passes in the second half, but his three interceptions were the difference in the game. The first came in the end zone with New Orleans at the Cardinals 10-yard line.

While the Saints edged Arizona in yardage 494 to 326, New Orleans had all three turnovers and the Cardinals lost none.

Arizona got a boost from returning wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. After serving a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy, the three-time first-team All-Pro returned with 10 receptions for 103 yards.

Arizona had lost eight straight home games heading into Thursday night’s win, which was the Cardinals’ first at State Farm Stadium since a 31-5 win over the Houston Texans on Oct. 24.

Two Alabama high school and college players entered the field during the New Orleans-Arizona game:

Saints running back Jordan Howard (Gardendale, UAB) is on the practice squad and is not eligible to play.

· Cardinals center Rodney Hudson (BC Rain) was designated inactive on game day. The three-time Pro Bowler missed his third straight game with a knee injury.

Saints running back Mark Ingram (Alabama) ran 6 yards on four carries and caught three passes for 16 yards.

Cardinals cornerback Christian Matthew (Samford) played but did not record any stats.

Saints Safety Smoke Monday (Auburn) is on the injured list and not eligible to play.

· Cardinals offensive lineman Lachavious Simmons (Selma) is on the practice squad and is not eligible to play.

· Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (Hueytown) dressed for the game but did not play. Winston started the first three games of the season before back and ankle injuries sent him to the sidelines. He has been training on a limited basis for the past two weeks and came on as a substitute for Dalton for the second game in a row on Thursday night. Dalton completed 30 of 47 passes for 361 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions against the Cardnals.

Arizona extended its record to 3-4 while New Orleans fell to 2-5. The Saints have their worst record of seven games in a season since 2012, when New Orleans was also 2-5 before finishing 7-9.

On October 30, the Cardinals visit the Minnesota Vikings and the Saints host the Las Vegas Raiders.

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Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.

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