Carson Palmer’s Jake Delhomme moment should have Cardinals thinking about the future


Carson Palmer picked a bad day to have a bad day.

That’s a mild adjustment to a quote from former Panthers coach John Fox seven years ago, after his team disintegrated in a 33-13 home loss to the Cardinals in the playoffs. Former Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme coughed up the ball six times in defeat, a horrific performance from which he never recovered.

On Sunday night on the same field with the same two teams fighting for a berth in the 50th Super Bowl, Palmer played the role of Delhomme, throwing four interceptions and losing two fumbles in a 49-15 thrashing by the Panthers.

Perhaps the blame for the poor performance from Palmer goes to the dislocated finger he suffered in Week 15, even though Jay Glazer of FOX Sports reported before the game that the finger isn’t an issue. Maybe Palmer, who had never in his career played a postseason game on the road, simply buckled under the pressure.

And maybe, with Palmer now 36 years of age, the Cardinals need to wonder whether Palmer has been permanently affected by the performance, in the same way Delhomme was. Even if Palmer can get it back together again by September, the Cardinals will need a replacement for Palmer, sooner or later. The last time their starting quarterback retired, the Cardinals floundered for several seasons with high-priced busts like Kevin Kolb and a revolving door of unproven players who were good enough to get coach Ken Whisenhunt fired.

Palmer, who fell into the laps of the Cardinals after quitting on the Raiders two years after quitting on the Bengals, previously has played well. However, he struggled last Saturday night against the Packers, eight days before his six-turnover nightmare. It’s possible that he’s good enough to get a team to the playoffs, but that he simply can’t get a team to the Super Bowl.

In an offseason that will feature plenty of younger options for a quarterback-whispering coach in Bruce Arian, maybe the best move will be to get Hue Jackson to overpay for Palmer like Jackson did with the Raiders in 2011, giving Palmer a chance to finish his career as a starter the same way Delhomme did — with the Browns.

Of course, Palmer wanted out of Cincinnati in part because he wanted out of Ohio and toward the West Coast. Which leaves only two currently viable options. Both of which are in the NFC West. And one of which will be playing for the next three seasons in the stadium where Carson Palmer played college football.

Ultimately, if the Cardinals would trade Palmer to the Rams, that would be the best evidence that the Cardinals know what the Eagles knew when Donovan McNabb was traded within the division: That Palmer is, for all intents and purposes, done.

95 responses to “Carson Palmer’s Jake Delhomme moment should have Cardinals thinking about the future

  1. Cards didnt show up today. Larry Fitzgerald had a pretty bad game too. Blame Carson all you want, but without him the Cards dont even make it this far.

    – Panthers fan

  2. osiris33 (bandwagon since 1976) says:
    Jan 24, 2016 10:51 PM
    Jake Delhomme? He went full Gannon
    I haven’t laughed out loud at a post in forever. Thanks for breaking that streak.

  3. Pack his bags. They’re not going anywhere with him. They might win 10 regular season games with him next year, but kiss any post season game goodbye. Cards might want to take a chance on RG3.

  4. Cards can trade draft picks with Tennessee to get that almighty #1 Draft pick, throw in Peterson (he’s overrated so he’ll sell higher than he’s worth) and the Cards can draft the highest QB available. This is probably a dumb idea, but Tennessee wants to trade the pick and the Cards want a future QB…

  5. It’s funny cuz last year the Cardinals couldn’t take the next step because they didn’t have Palmer and now they can’t take the next step because they have him?

  6. You’re right Florio. Palmer choked and the Cards are in trouble going into next year. Their 2 best players on O are old and they need to almost completely rebuild the OL.

    On a different note, Green Bay would have lost today too. But they’d have done WAY better than Carson and the Cards did. Ugh.

  7. This is what he has always been and will always be. You can’t teach an old dog a new trick. This is Palmer’s M.O. Choke when it matters. He’ll still get a job elsewhere if cut because that team will be desperate enough to believe it was because of the finger, or they can change him, or because it’s the Browns or Texans. It’s not going to happen.

  8. I don’t have a horse in this race, but to blame Palmer for this loss is a bit misdirected. The Panthers have an elite defense and they are competing against the #1 scoring offense inexplicably unstoppable because of Cam Newton. Palmer could’ve had a perfect game and they still would’ve lost.

  9. Now Palmer did not have the best game, but to pin everything on him when the game went one dimensional, especially after Peterson’s momentum changing gaffe on the punt return is a bit premature. The article is really not fair to Palmer or the Cardinals at this juncture. After the beating Brady took today couldn’t you say the same thing about him and the Patriots? This is sensational writing at its worst.

  10. His scramble and ability to find Fitzgerald across the field is what won them the game last week. Everyone is in knee jerk mode.

    Palmer was in MVP discussions up until 2-3 weeks ago. Quit freakin out, 28 other qbs failed to get this far too. The cards will need to do their due diligence at qb bc hes a 36 year old qb, not bc he’s washed up.

  11. When older qbs play against younger qbs, I rather take the younger ones. Older ones tend to choke bc they played scared. Example, Delhomme,Palmer, Rodgers, Favre and Brees and etc., except Brady.

  12. Finger issues or not, he was putting the ball right into the hands of opposing defenders all night. There were like 3 passes that were easy interceptions that were dropped.

    A bad finger may make you put up some bad throws that are off some, but it doesn’t explain balls that have no chance and are thrown right to defenders.

    Some guys just don’t have “it” when it’s needed most.

  13. Palmer laid an egg in likely the biggest game he has ever played or ever will play in. So, he’ll have to live with that. But it’s kind of a red herring. Considering he’s 36, it would have been prudent for the Cardinals to start looking for his successor regardless. Can’t imagine that one lousy game (against a very, very good Carolina team) would change the calculus all that much.

  14. GB missed at least 3 interceptions last week and there is no doubt that Palmer played poorly tonight but the obvious fact for anyone who watched this team play down the stretch is that they never got over the loss to Seattle. They were defeated both physically and mentally after that game.

  15. As a Bengal fan I was upset when Palmer left the team but it didn’t take me too long to realize that he did Cincinnati a favor. Palmer walk out on his team. He doesn’t possess the mental toughness to win the big game.

    Palmer did exactly what I predicted he would do today; he crapped the bed.

  16. Being from New Orleans, I will always be a Jake Delahome fan, always regret the Saints let him leave for Carolina instead of letting him be the Saints’ QB, as all the fans wanted him to be. Haslett actually admitted( not until last year, sad to say!!!) the HUGE mistake he made!! He ignored the talented QB-and even better person-we had on our team in Jake!!! I always thought it was the Tommy John surgery that Jake had that caused his problems with accuracy.

  17. Time for Palmer to retire. I expected this beatdown. When the Packers lack of pass rush confused him most of the game and he looked like crap, I knew it was going to be a very long day against a good team. What 5 interceptions and two fumbles Really? Time to go pal

  18. The Cards coach said it best after the game.. Those few minutes where Peterson fumbled the punt (that looked primed for a big return), then Cam threw the pick, then Palmer threw the pick in the endzone really decided the game and ended any realistic shot the Cards had to come back right before halftime.

    That said, I don’t know what Palmer was thinking about on that pick in the endzone. One of the worst throws I’ve ever seen. The safety didn’t move the entire play until he caught it… The others I can understand but no idea how you throw such a bad pick in that situation.

  19. Sam Shields dropped three INT’s last week.

    Carolina had to be salivating as they had more formidable front seven than GB to pressure Palmer.

  20. Sorry Cardinal fans but you are just now realizing what the rest of the league already knew. That’s who Carson Palmer is and who he will always be a loser. He chokes at the worst possible time always has always will

  21. The picks were inevitable when you trail by 20. His tackles were getting run around all game and the defense didn’t do a thing either. Team loss

  22. The real problem with the Cards tonight was their game plan and play calling. They decided they were going to throw vertical no matter what. How many times did they throw 20+ down field in the first quarter alone? I can count at least 6.

    What they failed to realize is that you HAVE to protect the QB if you’re going to go vertical, yet they refused to go max-protect and their OL was getting smoked by Carolina.

    This simple game plan mistake killed them early and fueled Palmer’s horrid game the rest of the way.

    Maybe Arian’s not as good of a coach as the media’s been saying all year. Maybe there’s a reason he took so long to become a HC. Food for thought….

  23. Peterson over rated, first of all.

    But Palmer played terrible for 3 of 4 quarters last week. Only the last half of the third quarter and first half of fourth quarter.
    He was clearly mentally fragile, and playing not to lose. Over throws, under throws, he basically cracked.

    Cards had a shot, Panthers were sputtering already after going up 17-0, but Peterson and Palmer toss the half away, when it could’ve been a 1 score game. A guy like Wilson composed himself and almost pulled back a 31 point deficit in the final 3qs, Palmer wasn’t composed and threw that terrible INT at the end of the 2q and that was it.

    If he was 26 you’d say that this experience he would learn from. But he’s 36 and hasn’t handled playoff pressure well his whole career, this wasn’t his first issue, but maybe his most painful.

  24. The Panthers nearly went 16-0 this year, and they’re peaking right now. They made a lot of QBs look bad. A lot of QBs throughout history have played with one eye on the stat sheet. When they felt like they were going to lose, they played it safe so that the media wouldn’t point the finger at them. In other words, they stopped trying to win. Brett Favre threw a lot of picks in games that got out of hand because he never quit. Palmer is the same way. At the end of the year there will be 31 teams that lost, and only one winner. All 31 of those teams will go into the off season trying to get better. Arizona will too. Arizona will probably be looking for a young QB to sit and learn behind Palmer for a year or two. But don’t give up on Palmer just yet. Peyton Manning is teaching us a lesson about that.

  25. Cards were out coached. Palmer played bad…who didn’t? What about the momentum Pat Pete destroyed by himself? muffed punt he didn’t have to touch then the very next play was defensive holding. BA on offense in terms of play calling laid as much as an egg as Palmer and the D Coordinator looked like a rookie based off his play calling and adversity he had to overcome. It was a team loss.

  26. Carson Palmer had a great year. He just blew it in the championship game, just like the team he quarterbacked blew it. Fitzgerald, Peterson, the coaching…

    Too bad, because the 2015 AZ Cardinals were a fun team. Would love to have seen them in the Super Bowl.

  27. Bengal fans don’t have lots to smile about, but today we be smiling big time. Thank you Carson for showing the world what you’re made of.

  28. If you get your team into the top 4 playing the most important position in the world’s most elite players in a sport, you are pretty good at what you do. NFL players have <20 days per year that count, and when you have a bad day at the wrong time it hurts.

  29. nopepper123 says:
    Jan 25, 2016 12:15 AM

    Bengal fans don’t have lots to smile about, but today we be smiling big time. Thank you Carson for showing the world what you’re made of.


    And this mean-spirited schadenfreude from Bengals “fans” is why Carson Palmer gave up on Cincinnati after 8 very long years

  30. Palmer deserved it because of the way he treated first Cincinnati and later Oakland.
    This is no different than when the ballerina Eli refused to go to play for San Diego.
    The other brother will get his in 2 weeks.

  31. Thank you for getting it right… Palmer did quit on the Raiders too. I don’t blame him, btw, he didn’t want to preside over wholesale rebuild, but that’s what happened.

  32. Entire AZ team played poorly, not just Palmer. Team loss.

    Surprising that Seattle pulled back to within 7 after Seattle offense donating 14 points to Carolina in first quarter.

    Seattle didn’t quit. AZ as a team didn’t focus. Tip your hat to Carolina. Good luck to Carolina in SB. Finish!

  33. I thought his best shot until now was the year he blew his knee out about 10 years ago. Its always been a question of his health as to why he hasn’t won it all. I think this proves that he isn’t a big game qb. Although, he finally won a playoff game this has to be a turd in the punch bowl for him.

  34. It’s different with Carson because this is probably the first REAL NFL big stage he’s been on in his career. Injuries and being on bad teams might have delayed an inevitable analysis that Caron can’t play in the big game, but face it he hasn’t been in this situation.. Brady was pressured seemingly MUCH worse than Carson was but NE’s defense and going up against a lesser offense under Manning kept them in the game.. Arizona did no such thing for Carson..

    If Arizona gives up on Carson I would say it was unfair, but he is much further along in his career than a Peyton Manning, who sucked in most of early playoff career. This difference is you still had time with Manning..

  35. Shocker. And you Cards fans wonder why I ride Palmer so hard…

    He threw ANOTHER pick six on top of that end zone interception.

    Horrible noodle arm QB who can’t read a defense.

    Back to your shuffleboard, AZ locals!

  36. ….1st…the Panthers played lights out football and have a pretty good defence but Carson really made them look fantastic today. CARSON is wssaaay over rated and America Show just how bad he is…

  37. Holy cow the dude was one game away from the SB and people are crapping all over him. The Panthers are just good maybe that’s why. The Cards were great all year they couldn’t stop Cam today they wouldnt have won if Palmer played good today either. Had they not let off the gas last week they could have made Seattle look stupid to like they did the first half. Face it that defense is loaded with talent and Cam made guys like Ted Ginn and Philly Brown good receivers this year. Have to respect what the Panthers have done before just killing Arizona. Who else in the NFC was really going to challenge them besides Arizona? Atlanta out of all teams was the only one that could this season.

  38. Talk about overreacting. Palmer was an MVP candidate all year, but now we’re placing a tombstone for his career because of this one game? Give me a break!

  39. Carson started out of the box, overthrowing receivers. Same as the GB game. He’s a good regular season QB, not so sure about post season.

    Cardinals defense was better last year, btw.

  40. Team loss.

    Palmer played his worst game of the year, but his O line was a turnstile all night.

    Newton had almost unlimited time as our D never could get to him. Peterson fumble and then holding…list goes on.

    Great season and Arians has returned the Cardinals to respectability, but just a tough night to be a Cards fan.

  41. Carson Palmer is 36, a very old 36. It wasn’t his fault he lost today because the Cardinals were simply going up against an almost unbeatable force of nature. The Panthers are 17-1 and that one loss was when the Panthers decided to take a week off.

    Still, I say keep Carson as the starter until it’s obvious he’s finished. Go get RG3 he should at least be a viable backup.

  42. Cam Newton out played Carson Palmer finally ended that stupid MVP argument…Carson Palmer and Tony Romo are good regular season quarterbacks…Yet when the pressure is on and it’s time to play championship football …Both men simply just can’t handle the pressure of the situation…

  43. This happens every year, the second a veteran QB has a bad game its ‘they should be replaced’. Go back a few weeks and PFT are raving about Palmer week in week out.

    Yeah he had a bad bad game but he’ll bounce back. Go back a few weeks and PFT were writing off Manning, now hes in the Superbowl.

    Veterans can come back and do a good job, the second they have one bad game everyone thinks they should retire

  44. And to think, the sports “media” were all set to hand him the MVP trophy after Carolina lost their only game of the season. Hmm, wonder why.

  45. Watched him do it in Cincy for years, then he quit… stood up to Mike Brown(lol).
    Couldn’t happen to a nicer whining loser.

  46. Nice try. He threw a couple bad picks. Everything else was that crazy good Panther D. Sixty percent of the time, it worked all the time. With real bits of panther.

  47. I think this suggestion is a bit of a stretch. But using your general philosophy here, I guess you might even suggest that Brady is done too? An old man QB that had a bad day with turnovers and the self-proclaimed inability to read a defense in a big game. Ben didn’t have any problems reading the Denver defense last week.

  48. Most fans are emotional asses, please don’t hold the idiotic comments of the few against the many. It is hard enough to be a Bengal fan cuz of Marvin (and a few of the players but not many) much less the behavior of the fan base. Actually being a fan of the NFL is pretty hard to justify any more. Have a great ’16 all!

  49. What goes around comes all the way back around, karma, mental block, call it whatever you want, he simply choked in prime time. The Cardinal fans will not soon forget this monumental meltdown!! Close but he cannot get you there…..

  50. I’m a life long USC fan,

    And Carson is a good QB but not a great QB. And that has always been who he is. Against a big time opponent, he’s always been a turnover QB. He’s not good enough to ever win a Super Bowl. So what you saw against the Panthers is pretty much what he I when he goes up against stiff competition. If I were the Cardinals, tho off-season , there would be two things I get accomplished:

    1. Rebuild the O-line
    2. Find a young QB prospect to groom.

  51. His problem is that he’s just not patient enough when things arent going his way. How he quit on 2 teams, its the same thing with the picks. He just throws it regardless of coverage and sound decision making because he cant accept the process of taking the yards available to slowly pull his team out of the water. He just ends up drowning them futher.

    He’s always been this way. He will take a good team to the playoffs no problem, but when facing adversity he loses his focus.

  52. Palmer didn’t look good against the Packers, either. He’s had two playoff games in a row to play decent football and he has come up short both times. He was more lucky than good in the divisional round, and he was both unlucky and bad in the conference championship.

    Those who say they wouldn’t have gotten here without him, may be right, but that’s more due to the alternatives than to him. Those who have watched his entire career, not just the last couple regular seasons, know that Palmer’s merely decent, not great, and that when pressure is on he tends to get worse rather than step up.

  53. A quitter doesn’t deserve to go to the SB. He got what he deserved. Karma is a b****. Seeya Carson! Gonna quit on the Cardinals now too? Take your ball and go home again?

  54. Now THERE’S the Carson Palmer that we all came to know and love in Cincinnati. A quitter without a shred of mental toughness. “Pick 6 Palmer” was at his best last night.

  55. “He’s always been this way. He will take a good team to the playoffs no problem, but when facing adversity he loses his focus.”

    You know, he’s only taken his team to the playoffs three times in his thirteen seasons. I wouldn’t say he gets his team to the playoffs “no problem.”

  56. jeez, if Carolina gives Denver the same outcome, is everyone going to give Peyton the same “washed up choker” treatment post game like Palmer?

  57. Palmer looked scared vs GB last week in the 4th quarter!!! Throwing passes off his back foot with no pressure… And then even Arians talked about him being nervous.. Not good.. I knew they would get smoked…

  58. Bruce Arians pulled out the trick plays kind of early. He must’ve felt it slipping away…

  59. As a Bengals fan, I watched the head-hunting (knee-hunting in this case) Stealers ruin Palmer’s best chance at a Super Bowl in 05′ and I was rooting for him to get there this year. But, I have to say that watching the game last week against the Packers reminded me why I was glad to see him go when he did, and yesterday was just a disaster for him.

  60. Good old Carson Quitter…

    I had warned my good friend (a Cardinals fan) yesterday before the game:
    Start worrying if ARI gets into a hole. Palmer will press and the wheels will come off.

    I had seen that movie before in Cincy…

  61. Yes, it was a blowout in Bank of America Stadium with the losing QB turning the ball over 6 times, but I think that’s where the similarities end. For one, Palmer is more naturally talented. He was a #1 draft pick, while Jake was a career backup before we signed him. Palmer has a lot more room to degrade before he gets to where Jake was at the end. Palmer also has a better team around him. Arizona really needs help on the O-line, and if they get it, they should still be an elite team next year.

    I do agree with the assertion that Palmer is one of those QB that can get to the playoffs but not win the Super Bowl. But I don’t think he’s completely done like 2010 Jake was completely done.

  62. They aren’t dumping a guy with 13 wins. They understand they were better than 28 other teams.
    I don’t see the talent on this team. Week defense.

  63. Bruce Arians needs to get new eyeglasses. To say the loss was not on Carson Palmer is just blind-eye syndrome. If the AZ Cardinals want to win, then do a trade for Brock Osweiler (former AZ Sun-Devil who would bring an immediate rise in fan base), or draft the next Brady or Big Bro Manning or Rodgers or Brees — or Cam. But to further rest on your laurels with a QB like Carson Palmer is to just continue to mire in mediocrity.

  64. Lol, so many morons talking about “postseason choking” always being his M.O. When did that become his M.O.? In his lone postseason appearance? Because he threw a 66-yard pass in 2005 on the first play of the game, when he also tore his ACL, so that certainly doesn’t count as an appearance. Modus operandi means it’s well-established or characteristic. He’s now 1-2 as a postseason starter and was 0-1 before this year. That’s not a characteristic or well-established M.O. These guys must have started watching football last month after he dislocated his finger.

  65. “Sometimes you’re the bug, sometimes you’re the windshield.”~ I’m sorry, but thus time I think the cards ran into a “bug zapper” in Cam Newton and Coach Rivera. The cardinals looked like a carnival team for most of their snaps both in defense and offense. Except for that brief period before the half when they COULD have grabbed a little momentum after the David Johnson touchdown, their play was laughable especially the two circus plays one of which the tried to counter Cam’s flip to Ted Ginn with a Carson Palmer flip-up to Larry Fitzgerald, another busted play. Busted or broken plays for the cards that day were better than the record setting turnovers by Pro Bowl corner Peterson and Pro Bowl QB Palmer. Such a hugh expectation, such a devastating electrical “ZAPP”! They all shound join Tyrann Mathieu right now in the rehab pool or else they face a “one and done” in September in Game One of the new 2016 – 2017 season!

  66. Like Coach Arians said … “Some players thrive on the big stage, some players shrivel.” If Carson Palmer don’t retire in this offseason, he’d better see a shrink!

  67. He’s not being coached very well in the pressure cooker of a conference championship. B.A. got “gently retired” by Head Coach Tomlin in Pittsburgh for not being risk-averse during important playoff games. Look at Coach Rivera during the game as opposed to B.A.’s antics. Coach Rivera “Stands With Fist” and his prize QB Cam Newton PLAYS like his coach, so do all the other Panthers.

  68. He tried to shock the Panthers D, and it worked if you look to the next series where the cards finally scored on David Johnson’s good play. But, the trick plays themselves were busts.

  69. Remember Buddy Ryan getting old right before our very eyes? Carson is a good quarterback, he can get you to the final four. But, conservative coaching and conservative quarteback play gets you into the Super Bowl and WINS the super bowl following good game clock management.

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