Carson Palmer: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

It is still far too early in the process to give Carson Palmer a passing or failing grade. We’ve only seen six quarters from Oakland’s newest QB and two of those were Palmer pretty much winging it out there.

Still, Sunday’s performance gave us an awful lot to digest as he showed flashes of brilliance peppered with moments of madness.

Here is the good, the bad and the ugly of Carson Palmer thus far.

The Good

Ummm…did you see his strike to Marcel Reece? Calling that throw good is an insult. It was great…beyond great in fact. The type of throw only a handful of men currently playing the game would have either the stones or skill to make. To be sure Palmer had no business trying to zip one into tight coverage in the middle of the field. Hell, if it were any other fullback besides Reece the freak you might want to give your QB a brain scan at the end of the game.

But that is what makes Palmer’s good so much better than many others. The greats have to take chances. This is big boy football and winning takes more than playing it safe. You have to take large risks in order to reap high rewards.

Something else that is telling of Palmer’s talent is how he’s already utilizing his weapons without knowing any of them. Jacoby Ford can ball…we knew this. But one game with Palmer throwing to him and you see all of Ford’s talent come into focus.

And, for whatever reason, Darrius Heyward-Bey wasn’t in the mix. Palmer and DHB showed almost immediate chemistry two weeks ago against the Chiefs.

In all you can see Palmer’s skill is still very much there. Once he gets the playbook down cold and learns all the tendencies of his targets there is no reason why we won’t see some amazingly beautiful football.

Oh…did I mention he has yet to play with Darren McFadden? That alone is reason to believe greatness is just a touch away.

The Bad

Clearly Palmer is still struggling with the playbook. It took him entirely too long to make calls at the line when he needed to change the play. Also, it is evident that the communication is not nearly what it needs to be between Palmer and his receivers.

Now all of that will come in due time. The problem is time is not a luxury Hue Jackson can afford. Palmer was brought in to win now. Losing to the Broncos and Chiefs at home consecutively is no way to go about winning the division.

Obviously Palmer gets a pass for his first taste of NFL action this season. However, coming off a bye and one full week to prepare there was still a lot left to be desired by how inaccurate some of his throws were.

The Raiders need Palmer completing more the 60% of his passes. Jason Campbell isn’t the big play QB that Palmer is but he almost always made the right decision even if that meant completing a shorter pass to gain yards instead of tossing one downfield that yields nothing.

With a short week to prepare for the Chargers things will get no easier for Palmer but such is the life of any NFL QB.

The Ugly

Yeah…six picks in six quarters is beyond ugly. We’re talking a special class of ugly. As in Rosie O’Donnell sex tape ugly here.

Say what you will of Tim Tebow but even he doesn’t turn it over like this and we know good and well Tebow has no business being mentioned in the same breath as Palmer. And yes…I fully realize the Broncos trust Tebow about as much as prison guards trust inmates to use the honor system. Still, Palmer has to know when to gamble and when to dial it back.

So I realize Carson was out of action for an extended period of time but even he had to remember that Champ Bailey is still a premiere corner. You just don’t throw blindly in Bailey’s direction unless you’re launching one that is guaranteed to sail beyond even your intended target. I can appreciate Palmer’s willingness to let his receivers make plays but you can’t turn Denarius Moore into a cornerback and Bailey into a receiver.

I hate to keep making these comparisons but it is inevitable. Jason Campbell was careful to a fault. Palmer likes to let it rip, which is necessary from time to time, but overall it won’t produce the desired results often. Not to mention by now Palmer must know how terrible his defense is. Giving any opponent extra possessions against the Raiders is a sure fire way to lose.

Next Raiders Game Full schedule »
Sunday, Oct 2626 Oct4:25at Cleveland BrownsBuy Tickets

Tags: Carson Palmer Champ Bailey Darren McFadden Darrius Heyward-Bey Denarius Moore Hue Jackson Jacoby Ford Jason Campbell Marcel Reece Rosie O'Donnell Tim Tebow

comments powered by Disqus