The Arizona Cardinals (3-3 so far this season) can’t afford to keep letting Carson Palmer play this badly, but there’s more than just quarterback issues to their inferiority against the best teams in the NFC West, beginning with the offensive line, that has been playing very poorly for the last couple of years.
In the 34-22 loss to the Seattle Seahawks he was sacked 7 times, and was put under duress on 27 of his dropbacks, tied for most in a game for any NFL quarterback this season. He has been sacked 20 times already this season, but the combination of his slow feet movement and a porous offensive line have resulted in pressure coming at him on more than 50% of his dropbacks this season, more than double the rate he faced last season. When under duress this season, Palmer is 25-of-55 with no touchdowns and four interceptions.
And interceptions have been a huge problem, as Palmer threw 13 interceptions so far this year, the worst in the league except for Eli Manning, while hitting receivers for touchdowns only 8 times this season, and getting hardly any support from his running game, which is averaging only 77.7 yards per game (26th in the NFL) on only 3.5 yards per carry.
At some point, the Cardinals are going to have to start and think about benching Palmer, who isn’t helping one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL (couldn’t handle a four-man pass rush, let alone blitzes). Drew Stanton is still waiting for his chance in the NFL, but it’s most likely that the Cardinals, entering an easier part of their schedule with the Texans, Falcons and Jags coming up next, will bench Palmer until that stretch is over.
If the Cardinals don’t win at least two of these games and Carson Palmer continues to throw interceptions at an alarming rate, Stanton might actually get his chance to start for the Cardinals.