2012 was not friendly to Palmer. He attempted 60 throws more than 20 yards down the field. He completed only 14 of them and five scores.
Digging a little bit deeper, you get some more info.
Now, we have heard it more than one. He did not have receivers to help him out. Of those 60 down field throws, he could have had another five completions. Five of his throws were dropped, which means he could have had as many as 19 completions and at least 100 more yards.
Even then, that still only means a completion percentage of 31 percent.
Here is a look at Palmer's deep pass numbers since 2008:
2008 (four games): 3/9, 66 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT (seven percent of attempts are for 20+ yards)
2009 (16 games): 8/32 (two drops), 351 yds, 2 TD, 5 INT (6.9 percent)
2010 (16 games): 16/54 (three drops), 616 yds, 6 TD, 3 INT (9.2 percent)
2011 (10 games): 20/50 (one drop), 701 yds, 7 TD, 4 INT (15.2 percent)
2012 (15 games): 14/60 (five drops), 551 yds, 5 TD, 3 INT (10.6 percent)
Now, aside from 2011, he has not thrown deep a lot. Among quarterbacks who attempted at least one quarter of the team's deep throws, Palmer ranked near the bottom in percentage of deep passes being attempted.
In 2012, he was 24th of 33. Andrew Luck, who ran Bruce Arians' offense, was third, going deep 16.1 percent of the time.
In 2011, Palmer was fifth of 31. Arians' QB in Pittsburgh, Ben Roethlisberger, was ninth.
In 2010, Palmer was 30th of 37. Roethlisberger was 13th.
In 2009, Palmer was last of 39. Roethlisberger was ninth.
Oddly enough, 2011 was the only time in the last several years that Palmer was asked to use the deep ball much. His completion percentage was slightly above average, his touchdowns were in the top 10, he was above average in yards coming from the deep ball and he averaged five deep passes a game, which is right around where he would likely average with the Cardinals.
Given the chance, he was pretty good. That is what he will get here. This is likely what Steve Keim and Arians saw. Sure, 2012 is fuel for the critics who say that Palmer's arm is not adequate. However, in 2011, he was solid. This should give Cardinals fans reason to be optimistic.
The best part? He will be throwing to a much more talented group of receivers than he has seen in some time, and this time it will come with many less headaches.
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