If you go by quarterback rating, the best passer on the field for the Arizona Cardinals Sunday against the Detroit Lions was Patrick Peterson.
The defensive back was 1-for-1 for 17 yards and a rating of 118.8.
The team’s second-best QB was Carson Palmer, who completed 22-of-39 passes for 248 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The pick, which came in the third quarter, was returned for a touchdown.
“It’s a play I can’t make,” Palmer said of the pick-six. “I had a receiver coming across and there was just a little miscommunication.”
Palmer said he should have “just thrown the ball in the dirt,” once again adding that it’s a mistake he just can’t allow to happen.
But it did, and the Cardinals still managed to win the game. A look at Palmer’s entire day, which saw him complete passes to 10 different receivers, shows someone who wasn’t great, but wasn’t bad. He was, to put it bluntly, good enough.
“I think by Carson’s standard he didn’t play as well as he would have liked to, but by those standards that’s pretty good for us the past couple of years,” Cardinals GM Steve Keim told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Monday. “He would probably be the first to tell you he got a little antsy in the pocket, he took some shots early, but overall still very, very pleased with him.
“And not just his physical tools, but what he brings to the table in terms of leadership and accountability.”
Palmer was sacked just once on the day, though a second that also led to a fumble was wiped out due to a penalty on the Lions. He was under pressure, though, but still managed to guide the team on a seven-play, 61 yard drive late in the fourth quarter to take the lead. And he did it without the services of receiver Larry Fitzgerald, whose hamstring injury kept him on the sideline.
It was that leadership quality Keim was talking about that helped the Cardinals get the job done.
“I called the plays and made sure everyone knew their play and knew their adjustments,” Palmer said of what he told his young teammates before the final drive. “Everybody in that huddle has played a lot of football.
“You’ve been in that situation down by two with a couple minutes left from pee wee to high school to college, and then now. So nothing needs to be said.”
Two games into the season, Carson Palmer is everything the Cardinals thought they were getting when they acquired him from the Oakland Raiders. He’s completed 60.8 percent of his passes for 575 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
And while he may not be the team’s highest-rated passer, the Cardinals have little reason to complain about his performance.