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Arizona Cardinals and Carson Palmer’s Last Hurdle

Carson Palmer has done it all... Almost. What he and the Arizona Cardinals need in 2016.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

There is not much left for Carson Palmer to accomplish. He’s put up All-Pro type seasons, he has been an MVP candidate, and he’s close to becoming one of the better non Hall of Fame quarterbacks in league history.

Yet, he has one mark on his legacy, one lasting impression that he has to overcome and that is his playoff performances.

Palmer has become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in his time in Arizona, he and Bruce Arians have manifested their relationship into one of if not the most prolific offenses in the NFL.

Yet, when the playoffs come, when the games tighten up, Carson Palmer has shrunk from the moment.

Create whatever narrative, whatever excuse you want, but the numbers for Palmer as a playoff quarterback are simple: 1-2 playoff record (taking out the loss and all stats after one pass play) 66-117 passing for a 56.4% completion rate, 730 yards, five touchdowns and seven interceptions for a 64.4 quarterback rating.

Carson Palmer led offenses have scored 14 points, 20 points and 15 points in playoff games, good for a 16.3 points per game average, his offenses in those seasons averaged 25.3 points per game in 2009 and 30.6 points per game in 2015.

It isn’t the reduction in production that is unexpected, it is the fact that he goes from MVP candidate to replacement value within the span of the calendar turn.

Palmer’s next step, all that is left, is to become a quarterback that shows up in the playoffs.

Here’s hoping 2016 is the year for that to happen.