ARIZONA CARDINALS

Carson Palmer is on the spot in 2017, according to CBS

May 22, 2017, 2:12 PM
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer returns to the locker room after exiting an x-ray room ...
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer returns to the locker room after exiting an x-ray room inside the Georgia Dome after an NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, in Atlanta. The Falcons won 38-19. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
(AP Photo/David Goldman)

When it comes to the NFL, few things are as agreed upon as the concept that you need quality quarterback play in order to win.

For the Arizona Cardinals, they’ve mostly had that since 2013, when the team traded for Carson Palmer and handed the reins over to the former Cincinnati Bengal and Oakland Raider.

Palmer’s Arizona tenure seemed to peak in 2015, when he earned MVP consideration by passing for 4,671 yards and 35 touchdowns with 11 interceptions in leading the Cardinals to the NFC Championship Game.

However, he seemed to take a step back the following season, throwing for fewer yards and touchdowns while tossing more interceptions and completing a lower percentage of his passes as the Cardinals stumbled to a 7-8-1 record.

Palmer, 37, contemplated retirement in the offseason, but ultimately decided to return for a fifth season with the Cardinals. And, according to CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco, he does so as the player who is on the spot for Arizona.

There is a misconception that Palmer wasn’t good in 2016. He started slowly, but Palmer played well in the second half of the season. Even so, he enters this year with a lot of eyes on him. Palmer threw 26 touchdown passes and 14 picks last year, but in the final six games he threw 13 touchdown passes and four interceptions. He turns 38 in December, but Palmer is still more than capable of leading this team to a Super Bowl — even if some out there don’t agree.

In 2016, Palmer completed 61 percent of his passes for 4,233 yards and his QB rating of 87.2 was the fifth-highest mark of his career, but second-lowest in four seasons with Arizona.

As Prisco noted, however, Palmer did improve over the second half of the season, as the team started resting him more during the week and changed the offense some to offset losses along the offensive line and at wide receiver.

The result was reason to believe that Palmer could still be an effective quarterback, and with only Drew Stanton, Blaine Gabbert, Zac Dysert and Trevor Knight behind him, it’s clear the Cardinals are relying on the veteran to once again lead them to the postseason.

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Carson Palmer is on the spot in 2017, according to CBS