Coaches in the NFL rarely single out players for blame, but Bruce Arians isn’t one to beat around the bush and was specific about who was costing the Arizona Cardinals early against the Indianapolis Colts.
On the sideline at halftime, Arians was asked why the offense wasn’t clicking. His one word answer: “Quarterback.”
The Cardinals finished the first half against the Colts in a 10-3 hole and Palmer threw an interception in the first half. A week ago, Palmer finished with one touchdown and three interceptions in a 35-23 loss to the Detroit Lions.
Palmer didn’t get any better in the third quarter, but came alive in the fourth quarter with a long touchdown pass that cut the Colts’ lead.
Later, Palmer led a drive that gave the team a game-tying field goal. It was enough to get the team to overtime where a Tyrann Mathieu interception set up another field that gave the Cardinals a 16-13 win.
Still, there’s reason to be concerned about the state of the Cardinals offense. The team will face tougher defense than the Lions and the Colts, and will need a better performance from Palmer in the remainder of the season.
There isn’t much of an alternative for the Cardinals with Drew Stanton and Blaine Gabbert as the only other quarterbacks on the roster. Stanton has made nine starts for the Cardinals in three seasons with the team but is a career backup who wouldn’t be a great option for Arizona as a starter.
The Cardinals’ best chance at a resurgence is Palmer returning to form like 2015 when he threw 35 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Even his 26 touchdowns and 14 interceptions last season would be preferable over his play so far in 2017.