DeAndre Hopkins Returns

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Ivan Estrada, OwlFeed Sports Reporter

On October 20th, 2022, two teams faced off in a Thursday night football game: the Arizona Cardinals versus the New Orleans Saints. Both teams’ records are currently 2-4 and desperately need a win as both their seasons have not been going great. Cardinals’ wide receiver, DeAndre Hopkins, has returned from his six-week suspension and now faces up against the Saints in his first game of the season. One team will come out 3-4 tonight and the other 2-5, which would impact their season if they want to compete in the playoffs.

The 1st quarter has started and the Saints have ball possession. Two minutes have gone by and Saints’ runner-back, Alvin Kamara, breaks loose for a gain of 17 yards. The next play of the game snaps and quarterback Andy Dalton scores a 53-yard touchdown for the Saints. The point after touchdown (PAT) is good. What a great start for New Orleans within three minutes of the game so far as the score is 7-0 with 12 minutes left of the first quarter. The Arizona Cardinals now have ball possession and their quarterback, Kyler Murray, then makes a 31-yard throw toward Rondale Moore, completing the catch. Murray then throws a completed catch toward DeAndre Hopkins! His first catch of the season as he missed six games due to his suspension. The reason for the suspension, provided by CBS, was that “Hopkins was suspended for six games for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.” Unfortunately, the Cardinals were not able to score their first touchdown of the game. So Cardinals’ kicker, Rodrigo Blankenship, makes a 50-yard field goal. The score is now 7-14. Two minutes and 15 seconds left in the game and the Saints now have ball possession and Andy Dalton goes for a pass. Interception! The defensive player for the Cardinals, Antonio Hamilton, intercepted the ball as Dalton tried to go for a pass toward Marquez Callaway to score another touchdown. This would close the first quarter and start the second quarter.

Arizona Cardinals are in the Saints’ territory but their plays are going nowhere. They are short of making another touchdown so they make a field goal instead. Making the score 7-6. Not looking good for the Cardinals as they need to stop making field goals and more touchdowns. The Saints get the ball back and make a quick play by tossing the ball to Kevin White, who gets through the Cardinals’ defenders and into the 3rd-yard line! Dalton then tosses it to Taysom Hill who scores another touchdown for the Saints! The New Orleans Saints are still in the lead 17-6 as the Cardinals struggle to make a touchdown. Arizona now has ball possession and Murray makes some incredible plays that lead them short of the end zone. The Cardinals are struggling to score their first touchdown and it looks like Kyler Murray goes to the sideline, frustrated toward his head coach, Kliff Kingsbury, as they cannot score. DeAndre Hopkins goes toward the sidelines as well to calm Murray as they have been struggling to score a single touchdown during their entire season. Still, 1st down and touchdown! Keaontay Ingram rushes into the end zone to score a touchdown for the Arizona Cardinals. They now go for a 2-pt conversion to tie the game and succeed as Eno Benjamin rushes into the end zone. It is now a tie game as the scores are 14-14. Two minutes left of the second quarter and quarterback Andy Dalton goes for a pass. Interception! Marco Wilson intercepts the ball and runs toward the end zone to score another touchdown for the Cardinals! Blankenship misses the extra points but the Cardinals are now in the lead with six points. The Saints with the ball possession and Dalton throws a pass toward Chris Olave but the catch is intercepted again. Isaiah Simmons makes another pick-six for the Cardinals and dashes toward the end zone, scoring another touchdown for the Cardinals. They also go for a 2-pt conversion which is good. The score is now 17-28. What a massive turnaround as the Cardinals take the lead by 11 points to end the first half of the game.

It is now the start of the second half and the Cardinals have ball possession. The Cardinals struggle and go nowhere. So they punt it away, making this the first punt of the game. The Saints now have ball possession but also struggle in Arizona’s territory. The special team for the Saints comes out to make a field goal but misses it and the Cardinals still have an 11-point lead. Cardinals now have ball possession and drive it downfield in Saint’s territory. Murray makes a throw and wide receiver Greg Dortch scores a touchdown for the Cardinals. The score is 17-35 making it an 18-point lead for the Cardinals and ending the third quarter.

It is now the fourth and final quarter of the game and the Saints will need to find their way into the end zone to make a comeback in the game. The Saints have ball possession and are at the Cardinals’ 23-yard line. Tight end Juwan Jouhnson, then makes a complete catch to score a touchdown for the Saints! The point after the touchdown makes it through and the score is now 24-35. The Cardinals are in the Saints’ territory and Eno Benjamin breaks loose for a gain of 15 yards. The Cardinals are now in the red zone and Benjamin barely reaches the end zone to score another touchdown for the Cardinals! The Saints kept up the pace as Juwan Jouhnson scored another touchdown. Seems like the Saints are making a comeback as the scores are 31-42. The Saints go for an onside kick but fail as the Cardinals recover it. Three minutes in the game and the Cardinals punt it away as their plays are not going anywhere. The Saints have ball possession and are in field goal range. Saints’ kicker, Wil Lutz, makes a 45-yard field goal. The scores are now 34-42 and the Saints go for another onside kick with seconds left in the game. The Cardinals recover it and Murray with ball possession takes a knee to end the game 34-42. The Arizona Cardinals won the game, making their record 3-4, and the New Orleans Saints record dropped 2-5. What an incredible performance from both teams as the Cardinals are finally making more touchdowns than field goals, and the Saints attempting to make a comeback to get back in the game, but still falling short. With DeAndre Hopkins back, the Cardinals look like a whole new team as they scored 42 points and scored touchdowns more efficiently than before. Let us hope for the best as these two teams continue with their season and hopefully make the playoffs.