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Arizona Cardinals 2014 "What If?" Scenarios: Carson Palmer

We examine what would happen if Carson Palmer had not been lost for the season and had returned from his elbow injury to play through the 2014 season and through the playoffs.

How would Palmer's pressence change the 2014 record?
How would Palmer's pressence change the 2014 record?
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Fourth of July from all of us at Revenge of the Birds! Since we're still counting down to kick off, we've decided to exercise our freedom of the press and write a completely biased "What If" scenario looking at how much of an impact Carson Palmer's presence would have had on the 2014 final record and any possibilities that it would have changed the outcome of the 2014 Super Bowl.

Using advanced math, cloud computing resources, and something with the word cyber in it, we identified Palmer's average stats per game (we just averaged his stats over the six games he did play) and used them in place of the Arizona QB that was used for week's 11 through 17 as a way to see how much would changing just one player out affect those games.

Carson Palmer's stat line averaged for his six games is below.


Using Palmer's stat line in place of Stanton or Lindley yielded surprising results with only minor changes to the final scores.

Wk Orig Score New Score Record Comment
11 DET 6 @ ARI 14 DET 6 @ ARI 14 9-1 Palmer and Stanton are almost interchangeable here. No big change.
12 ARI 3 @ SEA 19 ARI 17 @ SEA 19 9-2 Palmer would have scored two TD's but not enough to topple Seattle.
13 ARI 18 @ ATL 29 ARI 25 @  ATL 29 9-3 Even with Palmer, the defense let's Julio Jones have a big day. Loss.
14 KC 14 @ ARI 17 KC 14 @ ARI 24 10-3 The Cardinals make it a less interesting game and post a strong win.
15 ARI 12 @ STL 6 ARI 20 @ STL 6 11-3 Big change in score, but no change in result.
16 SEA 35 @ ARI 6 SEA 35 @ ARI 20
11-4 Still painful to watch, Palmer would have made this less painful. Loss.
17 ARI 17 @ SF 20 ARI 17 @ SF 20 11-5 Palmer or no, this is a loss due to the D in the 4th.
P1 ARI 16 @ CAR 27 ARI 23 @ CAR 20 W Huge difference here. Palmer would have changed this game.
P2 ARI 17 @ SEA 31 L As the previous two Seattle games show, they had our number.

How the Cardinals would have won on Wild Card weekend? Well having a QB would have made the game winnable, Palmer throw's 2 TDs, the Defense still scores 1 TD and picks up a Safety. That's 23 points on the board and Lindley doesn't throw the short field interceptions for go ahead scores. So I did dock Carolina 1 TD in this game because they didn't have Lindley to give them the game.

The next week the Cardinals still would have lost. Seattle was playing well and the trend leading into that game was AZ being 0-2 against Seattle. I think it would have been close to the above prediction.

The final season record would have been the same 11-5, with the exception of the win in the playoffs over Carolina which would have moved the Cardinals down one pick from 24 to 25 swapping with Carolina.

While this is all biased, the Cardinals still would not have made it to the Superbowl due to having to pass through Seattle.The best news is that Seattle would still go to the Superbowl and still pass on the one yard line and lose in complete shame. #SilverLining

What do you think? Did we miss anything?

Happy 4th of July, celebrate your freedom! Thank you to all service members past, present, and future from ROTB!