Pressure’s on: Cardinals QB Carson Palmer, O-line lit up by Vikings pass rush
Excuse Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer a bit.
No, he wasn’t exactly on, and his two interceptions thrown to the Minnesota Vikings’ Xavier Rhodes were evidence of that. One, for what it’s worth, might not be completely on the Arizona signal-caller.
Whatever the case may be, Palmer completing 20-of-38 passes for 198 yards, two touchdowns and those picks came along with a quarterback rating of 63.3.
That’s not good, not next to the Vikings’ Sam Bradford’s 98.7 rating thanks to a more efficient, quite conservative stat line of 20-of-28 passing for 169 yards and a touchdown.
Certainly, Palmer could’ve been better, but his offensive line didn’t exactly give him much opportunity to get comfy in the pocket.
According to Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson, the Vikings put Palmer under pressure on 27 percent of 42 dropbacks.
That 62.8 percent of plays under pressure is the most any quarterback has dealt with over the entire NFL season to this point. In Monson’s more subjective opinion, it’s a “ludicrous” figure.
FOX’s telecast’s counted Palmer taking 23 hits and hitting the turf 17 times. And by the box score, he was sacked four times for 43 yards, all in the second half.
The Cardinals’ offense actually got off to a promising start by scoring 17 first-half points, rolling up 263 yards and earning 19 first downs. As Minnesota’s pressure increased in the second half, Arizona would only net 27 more yards from scrimmage and five first downs.
Of course, the Cardinals offensive line will take much of the blame.
Injuries to Evan Mathis and Jared Veldheer put John Wetzel and Earl Watford in the first unit, but on Sunday, left guard Mike Iupati suffered a left leg injury and briefly exited for Taylor Boggs, who had seven games of experience under his belt heading into the Vikings game. Iupati eventually returned, but Boggs also earned time at right guard in place of Watford as the Cardinals searched for answers.