ESPN: Arizona Cardinals’ Carson Palmer a ‘third tier’ QB

Jul 2, 2014, 5:09 PM | Updated: 5:09 pm

Carson Palmer’s 2013 was really a tale of two seasons.

The first, which ran from Week 1 to Week 7, saw the veteran complete 60.5 percent of his passes for 1,741 yards with eight touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

The second, which constituted his performances from Week 8 to the end of the season, saw a QB who completed 65.7 percent of his passes for 2,533 yards with 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

It all added up to a quarterback who, in his first year with a new team, threw for the eighth-most yards of any passer and the 12th-most touchdowns. His 22 interceptions were tied for second most, and his 83.9 QB rating placed him 20th.

According to an ESPN Insider article written by Mike Sando, a survey of 26 NFL insiders puts Palmer in the third tier of signal callers, tied for 21st overall.

Palmer is an interesting study because his production went from being pretty brutal through eight games last season (10 TDs, 14 INTs, 35.1 QBR score) to ranking among the NFL’s best from that point forward (14 TDs, 8 INTs, 68.9 QBR).

Not many people seemed to notice. Twenty-three of 26 voters placed Palmer in the third or fourth tier. The eight players who gave Griffin a 4.1 grade on average combined to rate Palmer at 3.1, something I found interesting and somewhat surprising. “I really like Palmer,” a veteran safety said. “He is a tough guy. I respect his game and his work ethic. I like the way he plays.”

Palmer is tied with the Rams’ Sam Bradford, while Seattle’s Russell Wilson is tied for eighth and San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick comes in at 14th.

The hope is that Palmer, now in his second season with the team, will start off 2014 the way he finished 2013. If he does that, his overall numbers should make a significant jump, and the Cardinals’ offense should improve with him.

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