Arizona Cardinals: Carson Palmer ‘Indispensable’


When looking at the records and how much the team needs the leadership and top-tier play, Arizona’s Carson Palmer is among the most indispensable.

Sports Illustrated and MMQB’s Peter King is among the elite when it comes to covering the game that we all love, in a new MMQB piece that was posted yesterday, King muses that, among all the starting quarterbacks in the league, Arizona’s Carson Palmer is the most indispensable to his team’s success going forward.

How did we get here? King illustrates that, with Palmer behind center since the midpoint of the 2013 season, the Cardinals are 13-2 in games that Palmer has started, including a 6-0 record in 2014 and 2-6 in games that he misses. Palmer started all 16 games in 2013, with Drew Stanton and Ryan Lindley starting games for the Cardinals after Palmer went down last year.

As always the article is an interesting read because, when comparing Palmer to the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, no team has a better winning percentage with its starting QB lining up and not in street clothes than the Cardinals.

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But why, why is Palmer so indispensable to the Cardinals? Maybe its the felling of, having seen the other guys, there has to be someone better. When the Cardinals traded the Oakland Raiders for Carson Palmer prior to the 2013 season, I was immediately anxious to see how he would play. After flaming out and “retiring” in Cincinnati, and doing what he could with a pitiful Raiders team, Palmer was all but done, but was still better than the dumpster fire the Cardinals had at the position, Drew Stanton notwithstanding.

Palmer breathed new hope into a system that had seen the highest highs (Super Bowl) and the lowest lows (Seattle blowout) over the course of the last few seasons, so a competent, winning QB, who maybe never has won a playoff game, was everything you could hope to have as a Cardinals fan.

I, like many Cardinals fans, held my breath when three Raiders piled on Palmer last Sunday night at the This is preseason football, the last thing you want to see is your starting QB lying in the literal dirt with a lineman on top of him. Palmer got up, and beside from a weak offensive showing, owned up to mistakes in the game. Indispensable, yes, above reproach, not at all.

It has been said more than once but Arizona’s fortunes this season, when some are picking the team to make a playoff push deep into January, rest on the shoulders of number 3, if he can stay clean behind that offensive line, those playoff tickets I reserved earlier this week will be in my hot little hands this December.