Is the question about the Bengals backup quarterback answered?

During Training Camp, we kept hearing and reading stories that Jordan Palmer was impressive enough that conversation started warming up about the backup quarterback position. While Jordan was impressive, J.T. O'Sullivan was spotty and inconsistent. Clearly it was a growing question in coaches' minds, allowing Jordan to take snaps with the first team offense Thursday night against the New England Patriots -- on his first pass of the game, Jordan completed a 35-yard pass to Chad Ochocinco Johnson, who shaked off a tackle and outran linebacker Tedy Bruschi down the left sidelines.

Here's the most simple of stats to show who's leading the edge in the battle. The Bengals have scored only 14 points this preseason. Twelve of those points came from O'Sullivan's arm, who has yet to throw a pick, sporting a 136.3 passer rating. (Note, twelve of those points have also come from the hands of Chris Henry.) Much of O'Sullivan's performance against the Saints is a mixture of first and second team defensive players. On Thursday, arguably against a better defense, O'Sullivan was even better, in terms of passer rating.

  Comp Att PCT Yards TD INT Rating
@ New Orleans 9 11 81.8 100 1 0 134.8
@ New England 10 13 76.9 141 1 0 137.0
Total 19 24 79.2 241 2 0 136.3

In fairness to Jordan Palmer, against the Patriots, the Bengals clearly decided to rush the ball in a three-to-one rush-to-pass ratio with only four pass attempts in the fourth quarter.

  Comp Att PCT Yards TD INT Rating
@ New Orleans 7 11 63.6 59 0 1 39.6
@ New England 2 7 28.6 45 0 0 53.9
Total 9 18 50.0 104 0 1 44.7

While you could call foul on Palmer's playing time, you can't fault the way O'Sullivan is passing the football. Is he worth the topic of conversation of the team's starting quarterback? C'mon. You know me way better than that. I'm the guy that calls Carson Palmer "God of the Golden Arm." But is he, through the first two preseason games, clearly the choice as the team's backup quarterback? Yea.

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