The Arizona Cardinals dug themselves a hole Sunday afternoon at Candlestick Park.
Quarterback Carson Palmer threw two first-quarter interceptions that led to two Phil Dawson field goals and a 6-0 San Francisco lead. The 49ers would go on to win the game, 32-20.
The interceptions were Palmer’s 10th and 11th of the season — the second-most in the National Football League.
Some fans of the Big Red, as they’re apt to do, are calling for head coach Bruce Arians to turn to backup quarterback Drew Stanton, who hasn’t thrown a pass in a regular season game since 2010.
Cardinals general manager Steve Keim doesn’t think that’s going to happen any time soon.
“Number one, (Palmer’s) still our best option right now,” Keim told Doug and Wolf Monday morning on Arizona Sports 620. “The thing that I like about him is how he’s handled adversity. The other games where he struggled, to me, I think they were more middle-to-late third quarter issues that came in.
“This game, he obviously started off rough early and the way he handled the adversity and the way he came back and made some nice throws and put us in a position to have at least a chance of winning the football game, was exciting to me.”
Following his two interceptions, Palmer completed 23-of-35 for 293 yards and two touchdowns — good for a rating of 110.77. Unfortunately, Palmer’s first six throws were enough to reduce his rating to 79.1.
“I really don’t want to get into a finger-pointing contest, but there’s a throw to Larry (Fitzgerald) down the seam, which he forces — it was obviously a bad throw and a mistake,” Keim said. “And on the other interception on a throw to Jim Dray, Jim was supposed to hook that route. Instead, he drifted and Carson put it in a spot where Jim was supposed to be.
“So that one is on the receiving tight end. But he’s got to play more consistently, he knows it. When you make critical mistakes at certain points of the game, it deflates you.”