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Carson Palmer: The Choker Returns

November 09, 2010 by Palmer Sucks

Carson Palmer: The Choker Returns

�Sucks Says

Random Rants by PalmerSucks

November 5, 2010


Back in the dark days, the era when yours truly stood alone against a wave of Palmer hype, Carson Palmer was proclaimed the Next Great Franchise QB. Back then, Palmer was pimped as a top-three signal-caller, with cocky Cincy fans asking if Ben Roethlisberger would ever be �in Carson�s league.�


Two Stiller rings later, we have our answer.


Yes, it�s common now to knock Palmer, to accept that he�s not a top-tier QB, but once upon a time it wasn�t so. Back then, it was expected that the Bengals would ride Palmer�s arm to victory against almost any opponent, not realizing the real reasons Cincy was winning games. That, in case you�re wondering, came down to two factors: the Bengals� top running attack with Rudi Johnson, and their larcenous defense, yielding big yardage but also sopping up turnovers, many of which went for TDs.


Nothing has changed going into Sunday: the Bengals will win or lose based on running and defense. Palmer will be along for the ride, just like last year when Cincy stole itself a division title.


Of course, Palmer CAN still gag away games, as you saw last week against Miami. It�s high time the Stillers got some of that cookin�.


Palmer�s stats show 12 TDs vs. 7 picks this season, but that doesn�t tell the whole story: the almost-picks Palmer�s gotten away with all year. The Choke Boy is back, and so are the excuses, some even whining STILL that the Kimo hit of FIVE years ago is somehow responsible for Palmer �not being the same QB.� (Tell that to Tom Brady, who suffered the same injury as Palmer, and hasn�t had as long to rehab.) 


Like I always say, the problem with Palmer isn�t his knee, it�s his throat. He�s always a threat to throw that late pick, and it�s up to the Stillers to make that happen. The formula for a Monday Night win is simple: stop the run, don�t turn it over, and let nature take its course. Just as the sky is blue and water wet, so will Carson Palmer gag it up in the fourth quarter of tight games.


The Stillers must atone for their own choke last year � and it begins with beating the Bungals. Much has been made of last year�s late-season collapse, but to me the beginning of the end came in game 3, when the Stillers, up 13-0 and firmly in charge, blew it in Cincy. Instead of another �well we lost to Pittsburgh again� game, the Bungals used the win to spark their season and take the division. What they SHOULD have been doing was losing and starting their usual round of infighting on the way to another 6-10 campaign. It just didn�t work out that way.


Fortunately, there�s no Limas Sweed to make those game-changing drops this time around.



Last week�s game was a case of good news, bad news.


The bad news is, the Stillers are not a great team.


The good news is, nobody out there is great.


The bad news was, the Stillers lost. The good news is, this wasn�t a must-win game. If ever there was a game to lay an egg in, this was it. Monday�s contest is a different story, of course, as the Stillers must win, and must bury the Bungals for good.


For those who don�t think the Stillers are still maybe the league�s best team, consider this. The Stillers went into New Orleans facing a team that HAD to win, with a wild drunken crowd behind them. The Stillers flopped and flubbed all night long, got outcoached and out-gameplanned, and STILL came within a Heath Miller fumble of stealing that one. Again, that�s against a Saints team with its back against the wall.


From Tomlin�s dumb challenges to Essex running the WRONG play on the goal line, the Stillers just plain stunk. The QB comparison sums things up nicely:


Ben R. was 17/28 for 195 and a lowly rating of 66.8. By his standards that�s pretty awful.


Meanwhile Brees ripped it up, going 34/44 for 305 with a 101 rating. The Saints � the Super Bowl champion Saints � brought their A game, and barely squeaked it out against the Stillers� D+ game. Think about that the next time somebody on TV crowns the Patriots or Ravens as the NFL�s best team.


Your Stiller D is fine. Consider the Saints scored 20 points on 44 passes. Consider that Brees�s YPA was LOWER than Ben�s � stats always can be misleading. The defense yet again presented the offense with a chance to put the game away. Again, it was the OFFENSE that failed, just as they did against Baltimore.


Trust me, the offense WILL generally play better than they did last Sunday.


You do the rest of the math.


(The views of PalmerSucks are not necessarily those of � but should be.)




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