NFL Football

Can Carson Palmer still give the Cardinals one last push

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Carson Palmer has had a thought-provoking career in the NFL. When he played for the Bengals, he had some very up and down years, with 28 TDs in 2006 and 32 in 2005, and also had a league leading 20 interception season to go with it, not to mention the Oakland Raiders debacle. His 32 TD passes in 2005 were a great milestone for a team that hadn’t had a big number QB tossing the ball around for them since Boomer Esiason was back in the late 80’s. Palmer brought some hope and pleasure to the city of Cincinnati. When Palmer was playing with Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, overall, it was a real treat for the Bengals fans.

During the 2014 season, his 2nd in Arizona, Palmer was throwing the ball as well as anyone, with a 63% completion ratio, and 11 TDs to go with a nice 271 YDs/game as well. Palmer was someone that seemed to have arrived as the heir apparent for the Cardinals since Kurt Warner retired in 2009. Then, in a snap, he got sent to the sidelines where his loss instantaneously had a negative impact for the Cards. Yes Palmer seemed to have everything going in the right direction again, until those bothersome and ugly injuries came poking their obnoxious heads out again, again derailing what seemed to be a promising team he was leading through the NFC.

The ill-fated thing about Palmer is he has had a long trying history of injuries, which makes him difficult to fully trust. I think that if he could stay healthy, the Cardinals are a significant threat, but I don’t know if he can stay healthy, and at the ancient QB age of 37, it is going to likely be harder, or if the rest of the brutal NFC will go along with the Cards goals.

When he played the Seahawks, he has struggled, only completing 57% of his passes, including 8 interceptions in the last 4 games. And this also comprises 2 games of fewer than 180 yards passing. Those are not numbers that you want to see from the guy who is to be leading you to the promised land, especially vs teams that you face habitually and expect to see come playoff time.

Palmer has limited time at best, and I don’t see him getting anywhere in the next 2-3 seasons. The average QB seems to start making his severe decline around 36-37 years old, and the decline happens fast. Dan Marino was 35 when age began to put him into subnormal seasons, Brett Favre, of course broke the mold, as he was an exclusive 41, when eventually his decline came slapping him around. Palmer is not far off from coming upon that shockingly bad season that people stand around asking “what just happened?” Let’s not forget the icon and first ballot Hall of Famer, Peyton Manning was only 2 years removed from 55 TDs and 5,477 YDs to a pathetic 9 TDs and an unstable mound of what once was. It happens very fast, and it holds no mercy. This season, to this point, Palmer has been less than thrilling with 5 TDs to 4 INTs, and completing just 57% of his pass attempts – it hasn’t been a great start to 2016 thus far.

Palmer brings the big arm and loads of experience to the Cardinals for the immediate time being, one would think. But it is also going to be a shocking change when they suddenly realize the big throwing QB is not getting it done anymore. Drew Stanton isn’t the next guy, and Matt Barkley hasn’t shown any reason to think he is going to be able to take over, maybe the 6-5 QB from Alabama, Jake Coker, is going to be looking to show why he may be the one who is stepping sooner than later, and his skills are not something I fully believe in yet either.

The fact of the matter is, Carson has been a good QB in his strange and unsteady career, and I would like to see him have a chance to get into the big game and play for that coveted championship. But Carson Palmer and his clock has started ticking years ago, due to his staying healthy issues as well as his impending age. It would be nice to see him end his career on a high note. But, when the dust settles, as long as the Seahawks are around and playing with the intensity that they have been for the last several years, and the Rams continue to make their aggressive moves to improving, he simply doesn’t have enough time to make that final big push.

Written by Tony Karpinski for 10StarPicks.com

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