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Carson Palmer suffered a sprained left thumb; breaking down his performances based on quarters and game-winning drives

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Tape held his left thumb with his index finger, tied outside on a glove to prevent too much movement on his hand. This is what Bengals fans saw. But we didn't know exactly what was going on at the time. Carson Palmer tried to hand off the football with his right hand. It looked uncomfortable. It looked unorthodox. No, it looked down right scary. When he handed the football off, I looked to my right and said, "he's going to fumble it." Thankfully, it didn't affect his throwing hand.

It was later reported that Palmer suffered a sprained left thumb, when "trying to break a tackle by putting his hand on the ground."

His response when he had to hand off right-handed?

"He told me to rip it out of his hand," Benson said.

That would have probably required a Band-Aid and a timeout.

How good is Carson Palmer late in the game? I wanted to break down Palmer's performances, splitting away the fourth quarter from the first three quarters and even the overtime period against the Cleveland Browns. I also wanted to show Palmer's performance during game-winning and game-tying drives. It's very interesting to note that Palmer's rating jumps in the fourth quarter over any other period. Even though his passing percentage drops in the fourth quarter, three of his seven touchdowns this season are in the fourth.

  ATT CMP CMP% YARDS TDS INTS RATING
1st-3rd Quarters 104 64 61.5 766 4 5 76.8
4th Quarter 49 27 55.1 287 3 1 84.3
Overtime 15 6 40 63 0 0 52.9
  168 97 57.7 1,116 7 6 76.9

But how does Palmer perform on game-winning and game-tying drives? I accumulated stats against the Pittsburgh Steelers, both game-winning and game-tying drives against the Browns and the game winning drive against the Ravens.

  ATT CMP CMP% YARDS TDS INTS RATING
Steelers 13 7 53.8 59 1 0 91.5
Browns 10 7 70.0 58 1 0 117.9
Ravens 8 4 50.0 49 1 0 108.9
  31 18 58.1 166 3 0 105.0

I also wanted to include the touchdown drive against the Denver Broncos that took a 7-6 lead with :38 seconds left in the game. Since it didn't end up being a game-winning drive, I had to exclude it. However, if we included that, then:

  ATT CMP CMP% YARDS TDS INTS RATING
Broncos 6 6 100.0 69 0 0 114.6

Palmer is obviously stepping up when he needs to late in the game. This is, in fact, now something that's not new, even though it is, because we now expect it. Aren't we spoiled?

Who's the most reliable receiver during the Bengals game-winning and game-tying touchdown drives?

  REC YARDS TDS
Brian Leonard 5 34 0
Andre Caldwell 4 41 2
Chris Henry 3 35 0
Chad Ochocinco 1 2 1

Breakdown by teams.

Carson Palmer in game winning and game tying drives late in the game
  ATT CMP YRDS TD INT RATING
Denver Broncos 6 6 69 0 0  
Pittsburgh Steelers 13 7 59 1 0  
Cleveland Browns 10 7 58 1 0  
Baltimore Ravens 8 4 49 1 0  
Carson Palmer in the fourth quarter
  ATT CMP YRDS TD INT RATING
Denver Broncos 10 8 84 0 1 62.1
Green Bay Packers 2 1 11 0 0 66.7
Pittsburgh Steelers 17 10 96 1 0 94.2
Cleveland Browns 10 4 47 1 0 88.3
Baltimore Ravens 10 4 49 1 0 89.2
  49 27 287 3 1