clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Is Carson Palmer's regression simply a bad year?

New, comments

"It will be tough to forget this one. Any time you throw a pick, it's frustrating. When you throw four and don't give your team a chance to win, it just feels horrible. I can't stop thinking about a number of different plays. The only way to get rid of this feeling is to get a win, and it's going to be a long time until we have a chance to do that."
- Carson Palmer following 35-27 loss to Arizona.

Before his four thrown interceptions Sunday, Palmer had three games with three interceptions -- his previous worst interception output. Two were during his rookie season -- September 26 (Ravens) and November 28 (Cleveland). His third came in 2006 -- December 10 against Oakland. His 52 pass attempts marks the second time he's thrown 50 passes or more in a single game this season -- 0-2.

For his career, when Palmer throws 40 times or more in a single-game, the Bengals are 2-7. When he throws 30 times or less, the Bengals are 7-4. Another note here. Between 2004 and 2005, Palmer only passed 40 times or more twice. He threw 40 passes in a single game, between 2006 and 2007, seven times. The Bengals record: 2006 (1-2), 2007 (0-4).

I refuse to acknowledge that Palmer is why we're a bad team. Chad Johnson is the league's worst elite receiver this year (he threw his arms up once not even knowing the play, how does that happen?) and the team had no #3 receiver during Chris Henry's suspension. Rudi Johnson's stock has depreciated too much to be effective. The offensive line, in a two year span, went from one of the league's best to pass effective (4.4% ASR, 8th), but compromised for the rush (3.90 AFY, 26th).

But when Palmer goes, the Bengals go. The Bengals are 28-27 in 55 career Carson Palmer starts. The breakdown between losses and wins in all 55 starts.

  Comp % Yards TDs INTs Passer
Wins (28) 67% 6,806 56 25 99.8
Losses (27) 61% 6,755 40 33 82.0

When the Bengals are losing.

Comp % Yards TDs INTs Passer
63% 6,512 47 30 88.8

It's not that Palmer is bad. But when the team is losing or loses, Palmer is very average. And when you're average, you're not the type of player that loads your team on your shoulders to win.

One has to wonder if this is regression or just having one bad year. Look at the numbers in the 4th quarter with the deficit within 7 points -- winning and losing. Then compare 2007 against 2005 and 2006 combined -- when the team went 19-13.

  Comp % Yards TDs INTs Passer
2007 56% 681 4 5 66.6
05-06 63% 1,575 13 3 105.4
Total 59% 3,010 21 14 85.1

Total includes 2004.

Within two minutes of either half.

  Comp % Yards TDs INTs Passer
2007 59% 280 0 4 40.1
05-06 67% 910 11 3 104.3
Total 63% 1,558 11 11 78.0


Total includes 2004.

What do you think? Do you think that it's just a bad year from Palmer? Is the supporting cast too little? Or is this a forecast of things to come?