Jump to content

Interesting Curnutte Analysis on Palmer


Recommended Posts

At the Cincy E...

The idea of benching Carson Palmer now is more ridiculous than it was a few weeks ago.

True, there is no denying the Bengals quarterback made a big mistake when he lost a fumble at the 9-yard line Sunday.

Palmer's interception in the third quarter was almost as costly. It led to Tennessee's final touchdown in what would be a 27-20 Titans victory.

On both plays, though, Palmer was wearing Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. Haynesworth pushed around Bengals left guard Eric Steinbach all day, Steinbach admitted afterward. Haynesworth bumped Palmer's arm on the interception, causing the ball to float off target. And Haynesworth was pulling down Palmer on the sack-fumble with 35 seconds left.

Palmer said he was trying to switch the ball into his right hand to throw it away when he fumbled. He said he should have thrown it out of the end zone when his first two receivers were covered instead of looking at a third option.

Then Palmer said he would know what to do next time he encountered the same situation. You have to believe him.

Why go backwards?

The Bengals are 2-5. They are all but mathematically out of the playoff race. Over-achieving Pittsburgh is four gamesahead of the last-place Bengals. Baltimore is two games up on the Bengals. If two teams from the AFC North make the playoffs, they will be the Steelers and Ravens.

Not the Bengals. Not this season.

Stick with Palmer. Switching back to Jon Kitna now would be taking a big step into the past, and that statement should not be taken as disrespect to Kitna. Kitna, despite his outstanding 2003 season, is not the team's quarterback of the future. He's 32. Palmer is still 24.

Besides, what guarantee is there Kitna would do any better than Palmer right now with an offensive line that resembles a colander and a running game that is deteriorating? Then there's the matter of Peter Warrick, the most valuable player on the team's offense.

Take Warrick's 79 receptions away from Kitna and 2003 and what do you have? A 7-9 team? 6-10? See how Kitna would do on third down without Warrick. And put Kitna opposite the 2004 Bengals run defense, which is last in the NFL and keeps giving up career days to individual running backs, and see how Kitna would play from behind.

In 2003, the Bengals headed into December tied for first place with four games remaining. They lost three of their last four.

Kitna threw six interceptions and just two touchdowns in those three losses. He averaged just 164 passing yards. The run defense gave up 200 yards a game.

Coach Marvin Lewis made the commitment to Kitna in 2003 and stuck with him after the 1-4 start. Lewis said the quarterback was not the reason the team was losing.

The same could be said this season. Palmer is not the reason the Bengals are losing. No, he is not helping the cause with his costly and untimely turnovers.

But the Bengals have bigger problems than a first-year starting quarterback.

It's not Kitna many fans want. It's that they don't want Palmer. They're frustrated by the team's 2-5 start in the wake of their unrealistically high expectations.

Besides, going back to Kitna might reverse Palmer's progress. Teammates say Palmer is improving. And teams that stick with a young quarterback through rough times reap the rewards sooner than later.

Houston's David Carr was drafted first overall in 2002 and started as a rookie. He had nine touchdown passes, 15 interceptions and a 62.8 passer rating. The Texans were 4-12 in Carr's 16 starts.

This season, the Texans are 4-3, and Carr has nine touchdown passes, five interceptions and a 99.7 passer rating.

Detroit drafted Joey Harrington with the third overall pick in 2002. He started 12 games as a rookie, winning just three. He had 12 touchdown passes, 16 interceptions and a 59.9 passer rating. This season, Harrington's third, he has 12 touchdown passes, four interceptions and a 94.5 passer rating for the 4-3 Lions.

You get the point. Palmer will be every bit as good as Carr and Harrington, if not better. And just as coaches Dom Capers and Steve Mariucci have built better teams around their quarterbacks, so, too, will Lewis.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Create New...