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Carson Palmer is not struggling, he is just returning to his career average

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After an MVP caliber 2015, Carson Palmer seems to be off. In truth, he is just returning to his status quo.

Arizona Cardinals v Carolina Panthers Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Carson Palmer has been a complete gift for the Arizona Cardinals and their fans, lets start with that. What Palmer has done in his four seasons with the Cardinals is nothing short of special for a franchise that has had few special quarterbacks in their history.

Yet, that is part of Palmer’s spot in franchise lore, the bar was set relatively low of him to be a good quarterback.

That’s why when I stopped and thought about this season and how Palmer is having a “down” year I wanted to look back.

Palmer’s pace for 2016: 4,431 yards 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions

Palmer’s career average: 4,058 yards 26 touchdowns and 16 interceptions

Palmer is playing at a Palmer level. This is who Carson Palmer has been for most of his career. His touchdowns are slightly down, his yards are slightly up, but overall, he is on pace to be himself.

That’s why, when we look at Palmer’s 2015, we should look at that season as the outlier.

Palmer has thrown for 30 or more touchdowns only two times in his career.

Palmer has thrown for 11 interceptions… once in his career in a full season.

To expect Palmer, who turns 37 in six weeks, to replicate the best season as a professional quarterback was silly. To expect him not to play to his career averages, nine less touchdowns and five more interceptions was unfair.

I am not saying Palmer cannot catch that lightning again, he has shown in his career to have stretches of absolute brilliance, but I am saying, to expect him to be the Carson Palmer of 2015 week in and week out is an exercise in futility. He’s done that one time in his career.

This is Carson Palmer, and you know what, that is still pretty damn good.