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QB Carson Palmer - Arizona Cardinals

6-5, 230Born: 12-27-1979College: Southern CaliforniaDrafted: Round 1, pick 1

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Photo: Mark J. Rebilas, US Presswire

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Preseason player page

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer (knee) will wear a knee brace this season as he continues to recover from surgery on a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Palmer is not a scrambling quarterback, so we don't think this brace will impact his game that much.

News you need to know

From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Nov 23): Palmer had a limited John Brown and no Michael Floyd, which was no problem against a Bengals defense that had been leading the league in points allowed. Consider Palmer an elite QB1 behind only Tom Brady and maybe Cam Newton as he heads to San Francisco this week.

Week 12: at San Francisco 49ers

All QB vs SF

Mark and Joe say: Good matchup. Carson Palmer torched the 49ers 47-7 back in Week Three, throwing 20/32 for 311 yards passing, two TDs and one interception en route to the blowout win. Larry Fitzgerald owned the secondary with 11 targets for 9/134/2 receiving; John Brown was the other receiver over 50 yards with five for 3/62/0 that day. Since then the Cardinals' offense has rolled over most opponents - last week, Palmer overcame two early interceptions to rack up 20/31 for 317 yards passing and four TDs. J.J. Nelson snagged 4/142/1 receiving out of six targets, while John Brown (three for 3/43/1), David Johnson (two for 2/17/1) and Darren Fells (two for 1/18/1) also scored. Larry Fitzgerald saw 13 passes for 8/90/0 receiving in that game. It's all good for the Cardinals in this phase of the game, and will get even better if Michael Floyd can return from his hamstring injury this week. The 49ers' pass D is ranked 27th in the NFL averaging 277.8 net passing yards allowed per game, with 17 scores given up vs. seven interceptions (21st in the NFL) and 18 sacks (26th) generated to date. Over the past four weeks (three games), this team is ranked 17th in fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks (20.2 on average); has allowed the ninth-least fantasy points to opposing tight ends (6.2); and is tied for 12th in the league in fantasy points given out to opposing wide receivers (22.8). Of late, San Francisco has bled out in the rushing phase of the game, but they have also gotten beaten up in this phase of the game with regularity during 2015. This is a uniformly poor defense. Advantage, Arizona.

Recent Stats and Projections

8 at CLE 81 23 38 374 4 1 3 6 0 0 34.3
10 at SEA 89 29 48 363 3 1 3 -2 0 2 26.95
11 vs CIN 60 20 31 317 4 2 1 -1 0 0 28.75
12 at SF PROJ-Dodds * 23 36 * * * 2 * * * *
12 at SF PROJ-Tremblay * 22 34 * * * 3 * * * *
12 at SF PROJ-Bloom * 26 37 * * * 1 * * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2015 Week 11 vs CIN (20 / 31 / 317 / 4 / 2 pass, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)

After settling down from an admittedly overzealous start, which resulted in interceptions on two of the Cardinals first three offensive possessions of the game, Palmer snapped back into MVP form, picking apart an injured secondary for four touchdown passes, including three in the 3rd quarter. In typical Palmer fashion, all four touchdowns were caught by different receivers, letting the coverage dictate his targets, despite the absence of Michael Floyd. A week after picking apart the vaunted Legion of Boom in Seattle, Palmer followed up by hanging 31 points on a defense who had not given up more than 24 points all season. The Cardinals can and will score on anyone so long as they protect Palmer and he limits his mistakes; both issues the Cardinals have been able to impressively overcome as of late and still win games, but a certain recipe for failure come playoff time. With two tremendous quarterbacks currently leading their teams to undefeated seasons, MVP accolades may not be in Palmer's future, but presently, nobody is playing the position better than Carson.

2015 Week 10 vs SEA (29 / 48 / 363 / 3 / 1 pass, 3 / -2 / 0 rush)

Palmer continued his MVP campaign with another spectacular effort Sunday night in Seattle's hostile environment against one of the league's best defenses. Palmer was in part responsible for all three of the team's turnovers (blocking breakdowns bear much of the responsibility for both strip-sacks, but the red-zone interception was all on Palmer,) he overcame those negative plays with three touchdown passes and several more sensational throws. While nowhere near the crafty scrambler that his counterpart on the evening is, one of the most impressive attributes of Palmer's game on Sunday, and truthfully throughout the season, has been his ability to move around in the pocket, keeping plays alive for important conversions. Palmer was consistently moved off his spot Sunday night by an impressive pass rush, but still managed to complete over 70% of his passes against pressure. Palmer once again completed over 60% of this throws, and while his 7.6 yard per pass was over a full-yard shy of his season long average, he still managed to push the ball downfield including touchdowns of 27 and 35 yards. With the three unbeaten teams, all featuring excellent quarterback play this season, the narrative might not be on Palmer's side for an eventual MVP trophy, but nobody in the NFL is playing as well as Carson Palmer right now, a statement not many imagined at the start of the season.

2015 Week 8 vs CLE (23 / 38 / 374 / 4 / 1 pass, 3 / 6 / 0 rush)

The trends that Palmer has established through the first seven weeks of the season were on display again on Sunday- pushing the ball downfield, throwing with accuracy, minimizing mistakes, and converting on third-downs. Despite swirling winds and a sidelined John Brown, Palmer still threw for nearly 400 yards and four touchdowns, keeping him tied with Tom Brady for the most touchdowns in the league. Earlier in the week, Palmer mentioned to media members that red-zone and third-down conversions were the only two passing stats he was concerned with, and his 60% red-zone and 80% third-down conversions would certainly classify as a success. Palmer's one major miscue, a 3rd quarter interception, was a questionable decision at best, simply throwing it up to covered Larry Fitzgerald but also involved a questionable no-call for what appeared to be a defensive hold. Overall, it was another excellent game from Palmer, who also credited Coach Arians for having orchestrated what Palmer called "the best play-called game of [his] career." Heading into their bye-week Palmer has guided his team to a two-game lead in their division and himself into MVP consideration.

2015 Week 7 vs BAL (20 / 29 / 275 / 2 / 0 pass, 2 / 2 / 0 rush)

While Monday night's game lacked in the many deep pass attempts that Palmer has been so successful with this season, an efficient effort was all that was necessary to continuously lead the Cardinals down the field and into scoring opportunities. Most impressively, on the few instances Palmer did throw deep, all but one connected. Completing nearly 70% of his throws and once again excelling in the intermediate range, Palmer was able to exploit the sub-par Ravens secondary with relative ease all night. Palmer's distribution of targets reflected the lack of downfield attempts Monday night, with tight end Jermaine Gresham co-leading the team in both targets and receptions, while running backs Andre Ellington and David Johnson were also featured regularly in the passing game. The lone complaint unfortunately again for Palmer and the offense was its red-zone efficiency. While this was mostly due to a stagnant red-zone run game, twice the team kicked field goals on drives that ended within the opponents 5-yard line, something that simply cannot continue to happen as the team gets ready for its significantly harder 2nd-half schedule.

2015 Week 6 vs PIT (29 / 45 / 421 / 1 / 2 pass, 2 / -1 / 0 rush)

Palmer's day Sunday was a bit of a mixed bag both statistically and when watching the film. That made it even more surprising to see Pro Football Focus grade him as their #1 Quarterback for week six. What likely resulted in this apparent discrepancy was that many of Palmer's best throws were nullified by penalties (or in the case of a missed defensive pass interference call, the lack thereof,) or errors from his teammates. Easily the most impressive aspect of Palmer's play on Sunday was his downfield throwing, with his first throw of the game a 45-yard bomb to John Brown down the sideline. Ultimately, however, Palmer's success when throwing deep on Sunday led to a few of his more costly errors, including the late red-zone interception that all but ended the game. On the play, trailing by five from the Steeler's 20, Palmer lost sight of the free safety, and instead of finding Fitzgerald open underneath for an easy gain, Palmer forced the ball to a double-covered John Brown in the end zone for an interception. The play was a microcosm of the team all-day, falling just short due to a self-inflicted error.

2015 Week 5 vs DET (11 / 14 / 161 / 3 / 0 pass, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)

To borrow a cliché, Palmer's day was the definition of efficient on Sunday against the Lions. Taking advantage of short fields afforded from a turnover-happy defense, and a dominant run game, Palmer needed only 14 passes on Sunday to make his mark. With as many incompletions (3) as touchdown throws, Palmer made the most of nearly every attempt. Arguably, the truest mark of Palmer's impressive performance on Sunday was his 11.5 yards per attempt. To play so efficiently in an offense designed for short, quick throws is deserving of praise, but to do so in an offense that is pushing the ball downfield more than any other team in the NFL is simply remarkable, and unsurprisingly it was Palmer's longest throw of the day that was his most impressive. Facing 2nd-10 from his own 1-yard line, Palmer confidently dropped back into his own end zone, and tossed a beautifully thrown ball to John Brown running a simple go-route down the right sideline. The ball floated perfectly over the defender's outstretched arms and right into Brown's hands, traveling 40-some yards in the air. Four plays later the Cardinals founds the end zone for an impressive 5-play, 99-yard touchdown drive.

2015 Week 4 vs STL (29 / 46 / 352 / 1 / 1 pass, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)

Despite playing his worst game of the season on Sunday, averaging his lowest yards per attempt and an unfortunate 1:1 touchdown to interception ratio, Palmer still moved the ball effectively against the Rams and played well overall in the loss. While others' more costly errors ultimately lost the game on Sunday, Palmer's mistakes were noteworthy in that they came at crucial points in the game. Arguably, Palmer's two worst throws of the day came on the Cardinals last possession as they tried to convert 3rd, then 4th-2. In both instances, Palmer had a relatively clean pocket and an open receiver, Jaron Brown and David Johnson respectively, and overthrew both. Additionally, Palmer's second-quarter interception on an underthrown deep post to John Brown led directly to a Rams field goal while costing the Cardinals a scoring opportunity after they had easily moved the ball to midfield.

2015 Week 3 vs SF (20 / 32 / 311 / 2 / 1 pass, 1 / 1 / 0 rush)

Much like many of the players who claim to be in the best shape of their lives, it was fair to wonder if Palmer's offseason talk about improved mechanics and better arm strength would translate into results or simply unfulfilled hype. Through the admittedly small sample-size of the first three games, the results seem to speak for themselves. Palmer was stellar once again on Sunday, completing over 60% of this passes, racking up over 300 yards along with two touchdowns to his new favorite target, some guy named Larry Fitzgerald. Credit for the Cardinals offensive explosion can be passed around to many; the line's improved protection, the revamped running game, a fantastic wide receiver corps led by Fitzgerald and John Brown, and of course the mad-scientist Bruce Arians' play-calling. However, it is Palmer mastery of the offense that coalesces this into a unit capable of dominance. Palmer exploited the middle of the field with ease on Sunday and was exceptional on play-action, continually finding receivers who seemed to have 5-yards of separation on nearly every play. The schedule will eventually get harder and the gaudy numbers may come down a bit, but Palmer and the passing game are playing at an elite level right now, and barring injury, that seems unlikely to change anytime soon.

2015 Week 2 vs CHI (17 / 24 / 185 / 4 / 1 pass, 2 / -2 / 0 rush)

Wins are not a quarterback-stat, but Palmer's 14-2 record in his last 16 starts feels significant. It indicates a well-rounded team and undoubtedly some luck along the way, but it hints at a consistency from the position the Cardinals have very rarely had since relocating to the valley of the sun. Moreover, its not as if Palmer's other statistics betray this notion. He is tied with Tom Brady for most passing touchdowns (7) in the NFL through two weeks. On Sunday, he finished the day with a completion percentage just north of 70, a 4:1 touchdown to interception ratio, and a QB Rating over 115. Scouting service Pro Football Focus graded him at a +3.7. Palmer's lone mistake of the day, an interception late in the 2nd quarter, required an impressively athletic play from Jared Allen. Additionally, one of Palmer's best attributes as the Cardinals quarterback has been his ability to spread the ball around, but Sunday he both recognized and fed the hot hands of Larry Fitzgerald. With a full command of the offense, a healthy Palmer has the opportunity to take this Cardinals team to heights they have seldom reached.

2015 Week 1 vs NO (19 / 32 / 307 / 3 / 0 pass, 3 / 14 / 0 rush)

Ever since acquiring Palmer in the spring of 2013, Cardinals GM Steve Keim has repeated a variation of the same quote several times, saying that if given proper protection, Palmer could still spin the ball as well as anyone in the league. On Sunday, and for much of his Cardinals career, Palmer has proven that statement true. Palmer spread the ball around on Sunday, targeting nine different players throughout the game, accurate with his ball placement in tight windows, and applying continual pressure on the defense by attacking with deep and intermediate throws. Palmer averaged nearly ten-yards per throw on Sunday, and with a completion percentage just a hair-shy of 60, it is clear to see the Cardinals passing game was clicking on nearly every cylinder. His three touchdowns also showed the fantasy potential Palmer has when properly protected. The Saints do not bolster one of the league's better pass rushes, but giving up zero sacks and minimal pressure was an excellent start of the year for Palmer's protectors and a sign of great optimism for the team and fans.


Latest News

Cardinals | Carson Palmer throws three TDs (Mon Nov 16, 01:36 AM) - Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer completed 29 of his 48 pass attempts for 363 yards, three touchdowns and one interceptions in the Week 10 game against the Seattle Seahawks.

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12@ San Francisco 49ers
13@ St. Louis Rams
14vs Minnesota Vikings
15@ Philadelphia Eagles
16vs Green Bay Packers
17vs Seattle Seahawks