2017 Grade: .413
2017 3rd Down: .319
Week 1 at Detroit: I broke out every negative short-hand in my arsenal for Palmer’s game notes – it was not a good day. There were a number of miscommunications, which is odd for an offense that has essentially been intact for three years. Short-hopping throws to the boundary, missing wide over the middle, failing to anticipate, Palmer had a game he’d like to forget.
Week 2 at Indianapolis: I’m another week closer to believing that Carson Palmer’s career is coming to an end. He made a couple of big time throws, including a dime of a long touchdown pass to Jaron Brown, but the misfires are happening far too frequently. He has more trouble than ever escaping pressure and his passes are consistently wide, high or behind. On third down, Palmer registered 0 points on 14 drop backs.
Week 3 vs. Dallas: Carson Palmer is in a difficult spot. He’s in a vertical based offense without the requisite pass protection to execute those big plays. He remains a cerebral quarterback with a big arm, but it’s fair to question if he has enough trust in his line to make the big play. The GIF below best signifies the difference in the Cardinals offense from 2015 to now. Arians has the perfect call for man-free, they get the safety where they want him, and Palmer ignores the deep shot. Third and five or not, the Cardinals capitalized on this kind of coverage often in 2015 – not so much anymore.
Week 4 vs. San Francisco: If Carson Palmer wants to be an effective quarterback again, he’s going to have to do it outside of Arizona. The pass protection there, paired with his style of play, is an unmitigated disaster. With a constantly collapsing pocket (interior and on the edge) it’s a marvel that Palmer is able to have any modicum of success. On the rare occasion that he’s able to break the pocket, he tends to press, and that’s when his mistakes occur.
Week 5 at Philadelphia: To say Carson Palmer has played well this year would be a lie, but he has the dealt with the worst circumstances of any quarterback. The Cardinals pass protection is laughable, the running game is non-existent and only one receiver separates consistently. Palmer was under siege, yet again, all game and it caused him into some two unforced errors. 18 of Palmer’s drop backs were not counted due to third and long screens, throw aways and garbage time.
Week 6 vs. Tampa Bay: With 19 positive plays and just one negative, Carson Palmer was near perfect. When he’s clean in the pocket, with a solid running game, that’s the kind of quarterback he is. He anticipates well, throwing balls right before the receiver’s break. He’s accurate, poise, and can push the ball down the field. He’s fun to watch when this offense is functioning properly.