GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Carson Palmer is back and the Arizona Cardinals are winning again.

Palmer threw three touchdown passes in his first game back from a torn ACL and the Cardinals opened their season with a 31-19 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

Drew Brees threw for 355 yards, but the Saints had to settle for Zach Hocker's field goals after four drives.

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Arizona's Andre Ellington rushed for 69 yards before being carted off with a right knee injury.

Palmer directed a nine-play, 80-yard touchdown drive after the opening kickoff, punctuated by a 10-yard TD pass to John Brown. The other two scoring passes came in the fourth quarter. Darren Fells made a 17-yard fingertip catch for one score and Arizona clinched it with Palmer's 55-yard pass to rookie David Johnson with 1:33 to play.

Palmer, 14-2 in his last 16 starts, completed 19 of 32 passes for 307 yards with no interceptions.

Arizona was 8-1 when Palmer went down last season, 3-5 after that, including a wild card playoff loss with their third-string quarterback.

An injury to Ellington would be a tough blow after he played with a torn tendon in his left foot in 2014 before a core muscle injury ended his season.

Chris Johnson, a late free agent signing, relieved Ellington. But it was a third running back, David Johnson, who made the play that assured the win.

The fleet third-round pick out of Northern Iowa took a pass out of the backfield and used a burst of speed to run down the right sidelines to the end zone.

Fells, who played basketball at UC Irvine, caught four passes for 82 yards, the most in a game by a Cardinals tight end since 1989. Larry Fitzgerald had six catches for 87 yards.

Brees, trying to lead the Saints back from a 7-9 season, completed 30 of 48 passes with one touchdown and one interception.

In his first series since blowing out his knee, Palmer completed 5 of 6 passes for 62 yards. From the 10-yard line, Palmer rolled right and after checking off to receivers all over the field, found Brown open for the touchdown.

The already depleted New Orleans secondary took a blow when safety Rafael Bush, who had started in place of injured Jarius Byrd, left with a chest injury in the third quarter.