If you include the one-yard touchdown on a quarterback sneak, the God of Golden Arms (Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer) was responsible for three touchdowns on third down. In fact, looking through the game logs and his performance on third downs, he was just that. Golden. Of his nine pass attempts, Palmer completed eight for 93 yards passing, two touchdowns and no picks.
That's a third-down quarterback rating of 149.3 against the Packers.
For those of you that understand football, you know that converting third downs is critical. For those of you that don't know, or are for some reason just hanging out totally unaware that you spell it "Cincinnatti" (I know who you are), when you convert third downs, you sustain drives. When you sustain drives, you move the football into scoring position; or at the very least, win field position. You limit the opposition's chances to score because they're on the sidelines; the NFL's version of keep-away. In 2005 -- you know, that year -- the Bengals converted 43% of their third downs, which ranked third in the NFL. With the league's worst offense last year, the Bengals generated a 35% success rate on third downs -- 27th in the league. Last year's Super Bowl champion, the Pittsburgh Steelers, allowed a 31% success rate on third downs. Third down success rates aren't always generated on one play; rather the preceding first and second downs. Generally speaking, short third down conversions have a far better success rate than third and long. If you don't know what I'm saying by now, then take my word for it. Third downs are mega-important.
The God of Golden Arms didn't care where he was. He just unleashed it. On third-and-three, he connected with Laveranues Coles for four yards. On third-and-five, he threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Chris Henry. On third-and-six, he completed an eight-yard pass to Andre Caldwell. On third-and-12, he hit Chad Ochocinco for 23 yards. On third-and-11, he buzzed a low pass to Chad for a 13-yard touchdown. Of the nine passing attempts on Sunday, five were completed for conversions, one was the Coats fumble which went for 23 yards and the 11-yard pass to Brian Leonard was one-yard short.
So far on the season, Palmer has completed 13 of 21 passes for 160 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for a passer rating of 97.3.