Is Carson Palmer The Reason Cincinnati Can’t Pull It Together?
When it was first announced Terrell Owens would be joining his good friend (and, according to many, fellow egomaniac) Chad Ochocinco in Cincinnati, most of us predicted a huge circus in which egos collided, both players competed for every catch, and the season would play out more like a reality show thant anything resembling good football.
Four weeks in, T.O. seems to have hit his stride and is doing fine, according to most. However, quarterback Carson Palmer seems to have lost his mojo. There are a few more dropped passes from him than we are used to seeing, and while he has thrown for many yards, he’s only completed five touchdown passes, with three interceptions thrown and seven sacks suffered.
Some say Palmer must get more tough and stop looking to please everyone (translation: stop looking for Owens or Ochocinco on every throw, no matter how mad they get). It’s true, having an extra standout receiver down the field may cause one to break rhythm a few times in trying to figure out what to do, but if the quarterback is supposed to lead the team, how much can he continue to attempt to please his teammates at the expense of games? Furthermore, how much can T.O. really be blamed for the team’s downfall if he’s blazing a trail through the record books?
A better explanation is most likely the lingering injuries Palmer has suffered to the elbow, thumb, and knee. They explain his trouble throwing the ball, but not the decision making. When injuries hamper one’s physical ability, the adjustment is to play smarter. Palmer doesn’t seem to be getting that message just yet, though his numbers were a vast improvement in last week’s loss. Maybe we all have to realize it’s a new team, slightly new system and it will take some time for everything to go smoothly (things we may have to realize about the Miami Heat soon enough).
Just don’t ask T.O. to put all the blame on his quarterback. Remember what happened last time?