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Cardinals’ pass protection struggles in first half against Saints

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.