Cardinals offensive line plagued by penalties, poor play against Panthers
Carson Palmer was sacked eight times, once leading to a controversially-ruled fumble that was returned for a touchdown, and the Arizona Cardinals fell to the Carolina Panthers, 30-20, on Sunday.
Offensive line play was at the forefront of Arizona’s problems on the road.
All 10 of the Cardinals penalties came on the offensive side of the ball, and eight were on the offensive line.
Left guard Mike Iupati earned two holding and one false start penalties, while right guard D.J. Humphries earned holding and illegal use of hands penalties.
Left tackle Jared Veldheer, who was playing with a broken finger, was eventually pulled for John Wetzel but not after earning flags for an illegal block and an illegal formation.
Earl Watford also earned a hold.
Palmer otherwise held his own going 35-for46 for 363 yards, three touchdowns and a pick. His penalties were for illegal grounding and for having choice words for an official following Humphries’ illegal use of hands penalty — the compounding penalties pushed Arizona to downs of 2nd-and-44 and then a 3rd-and-44.
The Panthers got pressure on Palmer from the get-go. Carolina opened its scoring as Palmer lost the football while being sacked by Star Lotulelei. Thomas Davis recovered the loose ball for a 46-yard touchdown return just three minutes into the game.
Two Carolina possessions later, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton led his team on a nine-play, 75-yard touchdown drive in just less than four minutes.
While Arizona’s pass-protection was poor in the first half and inconsistent in the second as the team attempted to rally, the running game was limited to 10 carries for 24 yards by David Johnson, and it was abandoned for the most part after the Panthers opened up a 24-0 lead.