By any measure, Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer has declined this year. His completion percentage, yards per pass and passer rating are all the lowest of his four years in Arizona. His touchdown-interception ratio has gone from a stellar 35 touchdowns and 11 interceptions last year to a subpar 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this year. He’s already been sacked more times, fumbled more times and lost more fumbles in nine games this year than he did in 16 games last year.
So it’s unsurprising that a lot of people say Palmer is the primary reason the Cardinals have declined from 13-3 last year to 4-5-1 this year. But Cardinals coach Bruce Arians disagrees with those people.
“They’re wrong on that one,” Arians said. “Carson, he put a lot of trust in some guys that haven’t come through for him.”
Guys who haven’t come through include the offensive line, where starting left tackle Jared Veldheer and right guard Evan Mathis both suffered season-ending injuries. Receivers Michael Floyd and John Brown have both had disappointing seasons as well. So there’s certainly some truth to what Arians is saying.
Still, there’s no question that Palmer has been a disappointment. At the age of 36, he may just not be capable of playing at a Pro Bowl level anymore. Which means the Cardinals may need to begin looking for a new franchise quarterback this offseason.