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Cardinals' pass protection struggles in first half against Saints

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) is sacked by New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Junior Galette in the first half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

The Arizona Cardinals' offense started Sunday's contest in New Orleans with a beautiful 11-play, 80-yard drive capped off by a three-yard touchdown run by Alfonso Smith.

From there, things quickly went downhill.

Arizona failed to get further than the New Orleans 41-yard line over its next six offensive possessions, in large part due to a lack of pass protection for quarterback Carson Palmer.

Palmer, who finished the half 12-of-24 for 114 yards, was sacked three times, hit five times and hurried 10 times during the first 30 minutes of play.

The three combined sacks -- two recorded by Chandler HS alum Cameron Jordan and the other by Junior Galette -- were allowed by tackles Levi Brown and Eric Winston.

Arizona has given up eight sacks in its first five halves this season.

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