Looking at numbers...
We know Carson Palmer's struggles are a result to his mechanics after a devastating injury in January and other factors. Anyway, with that in mind, let's examine his "on-pace" numbers, compared to last season.
Palmer's DPAR (28.8) and DVOA (9.9%) ranks are 12th and 13th respectively. DPAR (Defense-adjusted Points Above Replacement) is the a number that "represents the total number of points scored due to plays where this QB passed or carried the ball, compared to a replacement-level QB in the same game situations." DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) represents value, per play, over an average QB in the same game situations. The more positive the DVOA rating, the better the player's performance. Last season, Palmer was second in both categories to quarterback god, Peyton Manning.
Carson Palmer's fourth quarter passer rating (96.4) is nice. But his second half performances have been average, at best, recording a 83.4 rating. In the first half? 94.0.
Rudi Johnson was expected to have a tremendous season after coming to camp as healthy and fit as ever with a coach's emphasis to run the ball more. Clearly, none of that has translated to success on the field.
Based on metrics, Rudi Johnson is a top-five running back. His DPAR (11.4) is ranked third behind Tiki Barber and LaDainian Tomlinson. His DVOA (10%) falls off to 10th as a result of play-calling in situations where most teams would run when the Bengals pass. Comparatively, Rudi's DPAR (50.9) and his DVOA (22.7%) ranked third last season.
Chad Johnson's numbers, he'll (expletive) tell you, are down. And, he's right.
If you take a look at Chad's metrics, they're embarrassing. His DPAR (2.2) is ranked 60th. This means he's only 2.2 points ahead of a replacement level wide receiver. You can blame hurt quarterback and massive coverage all you want. But the greats in the game still find a way. His DVOA (-11.3%) ranks 63rd in the league. His metrics are similar to Peerless Price, Cedrick Wilson, Drew Bennett and Reggie Williams -- not Marvin Harrison, Steve Smith, Javon Walker or Andre Johnson. The point of metrics is to make all things equal to get a better perspective of a player's success. Chad has had 77 passes thrown his way catching 52%.
Last season, Chad's DPAR (36.8) ranked second behind Steve Smith (46.7). His DVOA (19.2%) ranked 10th in the league.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh is leading the team in most receiving categories.
* Since T.J. missed the first two games, multiplying his numbers by two would be inaccurate because it would only multiply based on six games. I calculated his on-pace numbers by adding two games and then dividing by two which comes to 2.25 rather than 2. I don't claim to be a mathematician, so if I'm wrong, let me know.
T.J's metrics also lead receivers. His DPAR (12.3) ranks first on the team and 14th in the league. His DVOA (17.9%) rank 21st in the league. He's had 58 passes thrown his way and caught 67% of them. Last season, T.J.'s DPAR (29.8) ranked ninth and DVOA (22.6%) ranked sixth. He caught 68% of the 115 passes that went his way.