Found October 19, 2013 on
Sports Report Arizona:
When your team is 3-4 with wins against the Panthers, Lions, and Buccaneers, you can probably draw some conclusions as to how your team has performed this season. If you’re a fan of the Arizona Cardinals, you’d know that the defense has carried this team through every win and kept it close in defeat. You’ll also know that the offense has sputtered and has been unable to find a rhythm. Quarterback Carson Palmer leads that offense which has struggled this season. It is an offense which has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
Just a couple of weeks ago I wrote that perhaps the problem with the offense wasn’t just Palmer, that perhaps it was a lack of balance which held the unit back. Two games later and its clear that yes, a balance is important, but the play of Palmer has become such a detriment to this Cardinals team that the defense can’t always be counted on to overcome.
Now the question becomes how much is enough for head coach Bruce Arians and the coaching staff before Palmer is replaced. On the season the former USC Trojan has a 60.5 completion percentage. While the yards and completion percentage put Palmer into the category of an average NFL quarterback, his 13 interceptions put him at second most in the league, 2 behind leader Eli Manning. Add those interceptions to being sacked 20 times this season and the picture becomes clearer as to why the calls for his benching have gotten louder. The games against Seattle and San Francisco highlighted Palmer’s penchant for throwing the football into places that would make Brett Favre blush. The mistakes have led to opposing scores which have effectively keyed the losses to both NFC West rivals.
The issue for Arians and his staff is a lack of viable options behind Palmer. The first point to consider is how little time the second string quarterback gets in practice during the week. On average, the second quarterback will see less than 10-15 snaps with the first team offense during a typical week of practices. That is not much preparation for a player the fans are expecting to step in mid-game and turn things around.
Perhaps the biggest issue standing in the way of a switch at quarterback is the trust, or lack thereof, that Arians has with his backup quarterback Drew Stanton. The seven year veteran has not thrown a regular season pass since the 2010 season while still playing for the Detroit Lions. Taking his career stats with a grain of salt, Stanton has completed 55.6% of his passes while averaging 96 yards a game.
There isn’t much in terms of options behind Palmer for Arians to choose from. The hope is that the veteran quarterback can somehow get his career back on track and show improvement. It was a mistake by management to not have secured the services of Josh Freeman after the quarterback was released by Tampa Bay. The addition of an additional number one quarterback would have been good for the overall level of play and could have brought a much needed edge to what has been a dull offense.
In the end it may just be a matter of time before Palmer’s struggles become just too much for anyone within the walls of the University of Phoenix Stadium to ignore. Something needs to be done quickly to salvage this season for the Cardinals. It is time for a change at quarterback.
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Seahawks vs. Cardinals:
Carson Palmer will make a couple of mistakes, making the Seahawks offense’s job easy.
Prediction – Seahawks 27-13
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