If not for quarterback Carson Palmer’s play this season, there’s not much chance the Cardinals would have been in the NFC championship game against the Panthers.
That cliched reminder is offered only because of how wrong things went in Carolina for Palmer. His four interceptions and two fumbles loomed large in the 49-15 blowout loss to Carolina and Palmer said after the game that he “kept digging us a hole” with the turnovers. Palmer said that his dislocated finger was not the reason for his struggles and that things snowballed as he started pressing when the Cardinals fell behind.
Coach Bruce Arians also said the finger wasn’t a factor while discussing Palmer’s performance, which he said was not the sole reason for the loss.
“Carson did not lose the damn game, there’s nothing wrong with his damn finger,” Arians said. “We didn’t play near well enough, especially our best players.”
There were certainly plenty of other things to dislike about Arizona’s performance, particularly Patrick Peterson’s fumble when it looked like momentum had swung Arizona’s way after the Panthers went up 17-0. When the quarterback turns the ball over six times, though, it’s going to be tough for any team to wind up on the right side of the final score.