Cardinals QBs productive in 20-15 preseason win over Saints
Updated as of Friday, August 17, 2018 10:55 PM
NEW ORLEANS — Free-agent acquisition Sam Bradford and 10th overall draft choice Josh Rosen combined to provide a promising outlook for the Arizona Cardinals' quarterback situation.
After Bradford completed all six of his passes for 61 yards, Rosen went 10 of 16 for 107 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown to rookie Christian Kirk in a 20-15 preseason victory over New Orleans on Friday night.
David Johnson bowled his way into the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown to give the Cardinals the game's opening score, capping a six-play, 61-yard drive led by Bradford.
Kirk finished with four receptions for 49 yards, and Chad Williams caught three passes for 44 yards for Arizona.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees sat out the entire game, as he also did when the Saints won their preseason opener in Jacksonville last week.
The two reserves competing to back up Brees were able to move the team in spurts but were inconsistent and had issues with ball security, combining for four fumbles, two of which resulted in turnovers by Taysom Hill.
Hill, a second-year pro who got the start, also was intercepted twice and finished 11 of 15 for 68 yards to go with 43 yards rushing, all of it coming on one long scramble that led to New Orleans' first field goal.
Savage, who played most of the second half, was 6 of 7 for 53 yards, but was sacked three times. He was stripped on one of those sacks, but the Saints recovered.
Former Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett played the final six minutes for New Orleans and made the most of it. He completed 3 of 5 passes for 45 yards and scrambled for a 12-yard TD in the final minute.
Saints rookie receiver Tre'Quan Smith, a third-rounder, caught three passes for 60 yards.
Hill moved the offense on several possessions, only to be done in by four turnovers and another fumble that he recovered himself that stalled another promising drive and forced New Orleans to settle for Wil Lutz's 52-yard field goal.
The Saints drove to the Arizona 30 on the opening drive before Hill's pass intended for Cameron Meredith was tipped and intercepted by linebacker Haason Reddick. Hill lost his first fumble when the ball slipped out of his hands before he could hand off on a first down play from the Cardinals 35.
Hill's second interception came when he overthrew Ted Ginn on a deep pass toward the right sideline, where cornerback Bene Benwikere made a leaping catch and narrowly touched his toes inbounds as he crashed to the turf.
The ball slipped out of Hill's hands again on an aborted play that pushed New Orleans back from the Arizona 17 to the 30.
Late in the first half, Hill completed five straight passes in a two-minute drill and moved New Orleans to the Arizona 13, only to be stripped of the ball on a sack by defensive tackle Olsen Pierre. Arizona defensive end Vontarrius Dora recovered and returned it 16 yards to the Arizona 43.
A pair of young pros out of Louisiana Tech who grew up in the Gulf South had productive nights in the Superdome, where they played as teammates in a 2015 New Orleans Bowl.
Dora, who began his NFL career as an undrafted free agent in 2016, recovered two fumbles and assisted on a tackle.
Saints rookie running back and return man Boston Scott, a sixth-round draft choice, returned three kickoffs for 87 yards, had a 16-yard run among his six carries for 28 yards, caught a pass for 4 yards and returned a punt 13 yards.
Cardinals: Robert Nkemdiche left with a foot injury in the first half and did not return. ... Defensive Tackle Corey Peters also appeared shaken up early in the game before walking off on his own.
Saints: Safety Rickey Jefferson had an apparent leg injury covering the kickoff at the start of the second half. On the ensuring series, cornerback Arthur Maulet limped off the field. Devaroe Lawrence was shaken up later in the third quarter and walked off the field on his own.
The Saints play the Chargers in Los Angeles on Aug. 25.
The Cardinals visit Dallas on Aug. 26.