The Arizona Cardinals have had a fine year offensively. They have been able to run the ball well and Carson Palmer is putting up career numbers that are breaking franchise records. Nonetheless, even still, the offensive line's play has been criticized.
In particular, the eye test shows that perhaps left tackle Jared Veldheer is not playing as well as fans hoped he would.
But Palmer won't have any of that.
"Jared has been unbelievable. Jared is Jared," Palmer told reporters earlier in the week. "you don't hear anything from him other than when he's firing guys up and being the leader he is. He's another guy who should be in the Pro Bowl. There's no doubt.
"He plays every week. He plays through stuff. He blocks the best guy one-on-one. You don't ever see a tight end over there helping out because we don't need it."
He also characterized the offensive line play on the whole as "spectacular."
Earlier in the season, Veldheer's pass rating efficiency was a 96.1, per PFF, which was only a tad lower than 2014, when he ended the season with a 96.9.
If you look at the line's play comparatively, it has been spectacular. They were 31st in the league in rushing last season and dead last in yards per carry. This year they are 10th in yards and 12th in yards per carry.
They have allowed 21 sacks. Only three teams have allowed less. They allowed 28 last season.
The line has been criticized in some areas. The offense still struggles in short yardage situations and Palmer is "pressured" on many of his pass attempts, but they still have the top-scoring offense in the league.
Maybe Veldheer hasn't been quite as good this season. Maybe the line isn't playing as well as other lines. But when you look at the big picture, it has been a good year.