Carson Palmer Hitting the Delhomme Wall

By Zack Cimini

Remember the days when Carson Palmer looked like he could be and played like an elite fantasy quarterback? Questioning Palmer now boils around several areas. He is on a talented team with a nucleus that’s been building forward. Additions have been made that should bolster this team and propel them for not just divisional contention but a strong playoff push. Yet, the majority of questions circling this Bengals team point at Palmer.

Palmer has declined in a plethora of areas. Maybe he has never fully recovered from apparent elbow issues from a few years ago. Early season rust? Possibly. Some of the throws Palmer has been making though are just down right third string quarterback level. He is firing into areas of the field he has no business. Against the Panthers this past weekend he was lucky he was only intercepted twice. Numerous throws were errant and dropped by the Panthers defense. For quite a while the Panthers remained in the game against the Benglas. Even though they were starting Jimmy Clausen who was having a typical rookie quarterback nightmare debut.

With a current quarterback rating of 71, the front office has to be taken note. We see them looking to either bring in a quarterback via free agency or through the draft to give Palmer some pressure.

The Bengals were able to side step Palmer’s struggles last season by basically flipping their offense from prior years. Instead of gunning the football they became one of the top teams in the league at rushing the football. Cedric Benson had games were he carried the football 37, 34, 36, and 29 times. A very high amount compared to most starting backs in the league. Palmer’s career average of yards per game also was a paltry 193 yards.

Fantasy owners were disappointed last year in Palmer’s productions and are realizing that is not going to change. Can he turn it around once he develops a better feel for rookie Jordan Shipley and veteran Terrell Owens? We highly doubt it. Whatever is going on with Palmer it seems that he has hit that ugly Jake Delhomme wall. He has the ability to make an array of throws but consistency will never be a path he can take. He’ll deliver a dandy of a pass to Chad Johnson and two plays later throw a pick directly to a middle linebacker. Defensive schemes don’t change up enough for Palmer to not recognize the disguises and what’s going on out there. He has to regain confidence and get this team clicking offensively. If not there season could get real ugly.

At this point, Palmer should be considered as a fantasy backup quarterback with little upside. Until he proves he can limit his interceptions he should never start unless it’s a prime matchup. His yardage numbers are not there and you can’t anticipate him having a game of multiple touchdown passes. It’s a sad day when Palmer is rated on the same tier level of a Ryan Fitzpatrick or Bruce Gradkowski. That’s reality, as Palmer has done a 360 in the wrong fashion of where people thought he would be at this point in his career.


You must be logged in to post a comment.