Oct 13, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) throws a pass against the San Francisco 49ers during the first quarter at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
Many fans were excited about the Arizona Cardinals trading for Carson Palmer in the offseason. Also a lot of people believed he was a definite upgrade over what they have had in the past, including me. Palmer had believers behind him, and just as many doubters. With the Cardinals sitting at three and four and last place in the division Palmer really hasn’t been that upgrade coaches and fans expected him to be.
Tons of fans have already had enough of Palmer, and pleading for Drew Stanton to get a shot, but coach Arians is standing firm behind his starter. Coach Arians is putting a lot of Palmer’s bad play on the offensive line and the wide receivers running wrong routes. Yet there have been times when Palmer has plenty of time and throws it right into triple coverage or over Larry Fitzgerald’s head which just reminds fans of last year.
Last year Kevin Kolb in six games played threw for 1,169 yards, eight touchdowns, and three interceptions. Now if you look at those stats compared to Palmer’s 1,741 yards, eight touchdowns, and 13 interceptions in seven games who would you rather have? Not only that but Kolb’s passer rating was 86.1 compared to Palmer’s 69.5. In Kolb’s 15 career games with the Cardinals his stats combined are 3,124 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions.
Who knows what could have been if Kolb was capable of being healthy for an entire season. He was playing turnover free ball and that’s why the Cardinals were undefeated at one point. He did what was needed on the offensive side of the ball not more and not less. Palmer on the other hand just forces things way too much.
Palmer’s stats look more like John Skelton’s rookie numbers in 2011. Skelton in eight games threw for 1,913 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. Now Skelton really regressed in his next year throwing only two touchdowns seven games, but matching a fifth round pick rookie’s numbers isn’t exactly what you want.
With half of the season left Palmer has to fix things quick and what better time to fix them than this week against the Atlanta Falcons whose secondary is depleted and was just torched by Vincent Jackson for 138 receiving yards and two touchdowns.Palmer keeps putting the defense in bad situations and that will eventually frustrate them if it hasn’t already. Even with their backs against the wall though the defense makes crucial stops swinging the momentum their way only to have Palmer swing it back the other way with an interception.
If Palmer can’t figure out things against the Falcons secondary then by all means it’s time to give Drew Stanton a shot. Stanton is a guy who has been in Arian’s offense for almost two years now so he should know it better than Palmer. I’m expecting Palmer to have his best day of the season this Sunday, 350 passing yards and 3 touchdowns with no interceptions. Eight weeks is long enough to have learned a new offense so that excuse is gone now is the time Palmer.