Here's Carson Palmer's stat-line against the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday. Of 37 passes, he completed 20 (54.1%). He recorded 183 yards passing, one touchdown, no picks, a 76.7 passer rating and one badass touchdown drive to beat the defending Super Bowl Champions that could go down as a trend setter for this team. On a purely statistical level, his stats weren't overly impressive; especially when you factor in what he's been able to do in the past. Of course, you'll take the game winning touchdown drive every week -- you'd be crazy not to.
And maybe that's why Palmer was one of nine AFC Offensive Player of the Week nominations for week three. We find it hard to believe that Palmer would be nominated for his game performance -- how many players have been nominated with a 76.7 passer rating? It's not that he was bad. He wasn't. In fact, I still think all things considered, he's playing as well as we could have anticipated with the injuries and offensive line uncertainty. However, there's few players that successfully come alive when it counts. And Palmer came alive when it counted; twice if you consider the Denver Broncos "loss".
|Performance on the game-winning TD Drive||13||7||59||1||0||91.5|
|Performance in the fourth quarter||17||10||96||1||0||94.2|
Here's the thing. Palmer always used to put up gaudy numbers. The one knock on him in the past was his inability to lead this team during adversity. If there's one thing that we've noticed this year, it's that he's coming through when we need him to the most. And that's the type of quarterback that we had hoped Palmer would become all along.
Maurice Jones-Drew eventually won this week's award, rushing for 119 yards on 23 carries and three touchdowns. Other nominations included:
- Denver running back CORRELL BUCKHALTER, who totaled 14 carries for 108 yards (7.7 average) in a 23-3 win over the Raiders.
- New York Jets wide receiver JERRICHO COTCHERY, who registered eight receptions for 108 yards (13.5 average) with one touchdown.
- Baltimore quarterback JOE FLACCO, who completed 25 of 35 passes (71.4 percent) for 342 yards with one touchdown versus zero interceptions and a 111.8 passer rating.
- The New England offensive line, which did not allow a sack and helped Tom Brady complete 25 of 42 passes for 277 yards in a 26-10 victory over Atlanta.
- Indianapolis quarterback PEYTON MANNING, who completed 24 of 35 passes (68.6 percent) for 379 yards with four touchdowns versus one interception and a 130.5 passer rating.
- New England wide receiver RANDY MOSS, who hauled in 10 receptions for 116 yards (11.6 average).
- New England running back FRED TAYLOR, who gained 105 rush yards (5.0 average) on 21 attempts with one touchdown