Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals Have the Best Quarterback in the NFC West

Jun. 11, 2013; Glendale, AZ, USA: Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) and defensive tackle Darnell Dockett (90) during mini camp at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Carson Palmer, Russell Wilson, Sam Bradford, and Colin Kaepernick are the four NFC West starting quarterbacks. In that order is the way I have them ranked from best to worst. Niners’ fans and Seahawks’ fans would most definitely disagree with me no doubt about it. It was really tough to decide who was better between Wilson and Palmer, but I went to the stat book.

Kaepernick has to be the most overhyped quarterback in the NFC west. Is he even better than the guy he replaced Alex Smith? Sure Kaepernick is way more flashy and has the ability to run for huge yards, but how long will that last? Defensive coordinators are spending countless hours learning to defend against the option. Sports are Smith through nine games last recorded 1,737 passing yards, 13 touchdowns and five interceptions. Kaepernick appeared in 13 games and started seven games. His totals were 1,814 passing yards, 10 touchdowns and three interceptions.

Yeah he rushed for 415 yards and five touchdowns, but next season those numbers will be cut in half. He will probably throw for 3,300 yards and 22 touchdowns which is ok, but then again you don’t have to do much when you have a great team. It helps that he plays for one of the best overall teams in the league, their defense puts him in position to succeed with great field position and the offense plays old school ball with their tough hard nose running game. Michael Crabtree who is Kaepernick’s favorite target might not see the field at all this season, and other than Crabtree and Vernon Davis they are short at wide receiver. Who can he depend on? An aging Anquan Boldin that dominated in the playoffs, but has only reached double-digit touchdowns in the regular season once?

Bradford had a decent year last year throwing for 3,702 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. Bradford has yet to take the leap into the elite category many Rams’ fans have hoped he would have taken by now. Bradford wasn’t put in a position to succeed like his counterparts in the division. When Bradford first came to the rams they were a joke, but slowly Bradford and the defense have made this team better.Offensively his favorite weapon was Danny Amendola, and he is now in New England with Tom Brady. The Rams did draft speedy receiver Tavon Austin, but he is not a typical number one receiver. With some more offensive weapons I truly believe Bradford could be elite 

Wilson like Kaepernick is in a position where he doesn’t have to do very much he just has to do enough. Wilson threw for 3,118 yards, 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Now those aren’t elite numbers what so ever but they are good. Where Wilson is elite though is in the red zone where he threw 20 touchdowns and zero interceptions. To be a third round pick and start in his rookie season with so much poise is astounding to me, but when you have the best defense in the league and a beast in running the ball on your team you can play relaxed with little expectations.

Palmer will finish this season with the best statistics of all four, he has all the weapons to succeed with the Cardinals. Palmer had no help in Oakland and still managed to throw for over 4,000 yards. You also know what you are going to get from Palmer, we don’t quite know about Kaepernick and Wilson just yet since they have only started in a combined 23 games. If Rashard Mendenhall can return to old form in the desert and the line holds up Palmer will play at an elite level. The Cardinals’ defense will be better because of Palmer, he won’t constantly have the defense starting on their own side and he will give them more rest than they are used to. Palmer is ecstatic to get on the field he sees the potential in the offense to be a real threat this upcoming season.