Cincinnati Bengals QB Carson Palmer (a.k.a. "Alfred") certainly didn't silence any of his critics this week with a "which QB was the rookie making his first start again?" performance. Palmer was an unimpressive 19 for 37 for 195 yards, one TD and two interceptions. His rating for the game was a gag-inducing 53.3
No doubt we will hear plenty of rationales for that poor outing in the coming days, but one thing that jumped out at me was how much of Palmer's struggles were linked to trying to get the ball to Chad Ochocinco and, to a lesser extent, Terrell Owens.
Palmer targeted Chad 12 times during the game, with abysmal results: four catches, 34 yards and an interception. Owens was the object of nine throws. He caught four for 42, but one of those incompletions was another Palmer pick.
By contrast, Jermaine Gresham caught four of six passes for 59 yards. Jordan Shipley went 3-for-3 for 37 yards. Cedric Benson, not known as a receiver, caught two of three balls thrown his way, including his first career NFL receiving TD. Andre Caldwell only caught one of three passes aimed at him, but one of those incompletions was the pass interference call that set up a Benson TD. Finally, Brian Leonard caught one of two passes directed to him for six yards.
The moral of today's game? Less Batman & Robin. More Gresham & Shipley.