"But if the team wants Palmer to last more than four games in 2009 (his total for 2008), they'll have to do something about the offensive line, which hasn't protected the QB very well in his seven-year career."
- Staff of Dayton Daily News (no name attached)
Yep, yep. Wait, what? In Palmer's seven-year career? Even if you include his 2003 season, Palmer's 2008 just marked his sixth. Where did this "seventh" season come from?
And what of this protection problems in the seven years? In 2007, the protection was tremendous, allowing only 17 sacks during a season that Palmer recorded a career-high 575 pass attempts; franchise best. Football Outsiders ranked the Bengals offensive line with the second best pass protection. Just as impressive, Palmer was only sacked 19 times during the Bengals lone-playoff run, in 509 drop backs. Same thing in 2005 -- second best. Even 2006 wasn't that bad, allowing 36 sacks in 520 drop backs -- 18 came in only four games. Football Outsiders ranked the Bengals 11th best.
Does Palmer get hit a lot after releasing the pass? Yes. Most quarterbacks do. Has the offensive line been problematic in 2008? No argument here. However, to say that Palmer hasn't been protected during his "seven-year career" isn't all that accurate -- on two levels! Let's just say the Bengals need to address the line, right now. Less errors. To the point. Easy to remember.
The last sentence asks, "Do they have enough, or will they draft or trade for better protectors?"