Through five games this year, Carson Palmer is on pace to have a season much closer to his 2007 season, throwing for over 4,000 yards passing and 25 touchdowns than he is 2009. The irony is that the team won in 2009 and not-so-much in 2007.
Yet, Chad Ochocinco says don't blame Carson Palmer.
After taking the blame for the pass that bounced away from his hands, resulting an interception by Buccaneers safety Sabby Piscitelli that led to a game-winning field goal to end the game, Chad Ochocinco responded to a question that was asked, wondering what's wrong with Carson Palmer.
There is nothing wrong with Carson Palmer. I’ll say it again and I’ll say it over and over again: Carson is an elite quarterback regardless of what anybody thinks or what anybody says, and Cincinnati needs to have patience with that and understand that when things aren’t going well it’s not the quarterback’s fault. Carson is only as good as his supporting cast and his supporting cast would be me. So if you’re going to boo, you need to start with booing me. You know, ummmmm, that’s it. Carson is only as good as those around him. And that’s how it goes…
Unfortunately, some aren't so pleasantly patient with the team's frustrating passing development process. Fox Sports' Adam Schein writes that it's time for the Bengals to move past Palmer now, writing:
But there’s no debating anymore that Cincinnati needs a new QB. You cannot win a title with Carson Palmer. Heck – you can’t beat the Bucs and Browns.
I'll be honest. I haven't been so much a Palmer apologist, but I have been very patient in my criticisms. The idea of changing quarterbacks by next year isn't completely deaf to my ears. But neither is Chad's point that the quarterback is only as good as the team around him.
Mike Freeman writes that Palmer gets a free pass:
Jay Cutler is playing better. So is Ryan Fitzpatrick. So is David Garrard.
Palmer's 78.3 passer rating barely trumps Jason Campbell (76.2), Matt Cassel (74), Bruce Gradkowski (71.1) and Alex Smith (71.6).
Carson Palmer continues to play like Carson Daly, and yet the outrage continues to be mostly muted. It's been this way for years with Palmer, and so goes one of the greatest free passes, in the NFL and the media, any quarterback has ever received.
Ouch. Apparently Freeman doesn't associate himself with any Bengals fan.