Hall of Fame weekend opens the 2012 NFL preseason


Saints and Cardinals in the Hall of Fame game - (Tim Fuller/US PRESSWIRE)

The New Orleans Saints defeat the Arizona Cardinals, 17-10, in the annual NFL Hall of Fame Game. (Tim Fuller/US PRESSWIRE)

By James Williams

The 2012 preseason is officially underway as the New Orleans Saints defeated the Arizona Cardinals, 17-10 in the annual NFL Hall of Fame Game at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio.

The game took place the night after the induction ceremony honoring the Hall of Fame Class of 2012 which included, Jack Butler, Dermontti Dawson, Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy, Curtis Martin, and Willie Roaf.

Three of the men inducted into the hall of fame, have ties to the Saints organization.

As for the Cardinals, they were the NFC team with the longest absence from the Hall of Fame game, with their last appearance being in 1986 against the New England Patriots.

The game began with a 77-yard opening drive put together by quarterback Drew Brees and the Saints, which led to a one-yard rushing touchdown by running back Mark Ingram.

Brees was 4-for-5 in pass attempts and threw for 41 passing yards.

Second string quarterback Chase Daniels took control of the Saints offensive huddle for a majority of the first half after the opening drive, because the Saints wanted to rest Brees for the regular season.

Daniels completed 15 of his 20 pass attempts for 203 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb started the game, but only completing one of his four pass attempts for a total of four yards.

He also had one intercepted pass by safety Malcolm Jenkins, which took place on the second offensive play for the Cardinals.

Kolb’s only completed pass to a Cardinals’ player came in the third offensive series to fullback Anthony Sherman.

Kolb was injured on the play when he was under pressure and taken down by Saints defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis. Kolb did not return to the game due to bruised ribs.

Quarterback John Skelton, who is in a battle for the starting quarterback job, entered the game as Kolb left with the injury. Skelton completed four of his six passes for 32 yards.

One of Skelton’s passes was to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, for his only one target in the game. He caught the pass for a 10 yard gain.

Cardinals’ running back Alfonso Smith scored the only touchdown for the team that capped off a 90-yard offensive drive down the field in the second quarter.

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