The Arizona Cardinals come to New Orleans, where they haven't won since 1996. The Saints welcome them on a 10-game regular season winning streak under Sean Payton, heavily favored not especially because of what the Saints have done this season, but what a growing legion of believers expect them to do.
And that would be to get their high-powered offense on track. The Saints have gotten off to a 2-0 start while being held to 23 points by a strong Atlanta defense and just 16 by a Tampa Bay defense that may be much better than anticipated.
In the Cardinals, they get a defense that's produced just a single sack and a single interception in a 1-1 start. The Saints' scoring totals would be more respectable if the red zone offense were operating at its usual efficiency. A year ago, the Saints were the second-best red zone offense in the NFL, scoring touchdowns on 68% of their opportunities. Through two games this year the saints have just one touchdown in seven trips inside the 20, a 14% success rate…last in the NFL.
The thinking is that weapons like Lance Moore and Kenny Stills are ready to make more of a contribution in the passing game while Larry Fitzgerald may be unable to contribute with his usual brilliance to the Cardinals' attack.
A sore hamstring has limited the only wide receiver to catch a touchdown pass from Carson Palmer through two games. Fitzgerald has two of them.
A victory by the Saints on Sunday, no matter how it's achieved, would give them a 3-0 start to the season and reinforce the opinion of the Who Dat Nation that the magic is back as it was when the saints last started 3-0...on their way to the Super Bowl.
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