There was a moment I still remember, possibly in 2008 but maybe 2009, in Seattle. The Cardinals were going to beat the Seahawks — in that time frame, they were supposed to win in Seattle — and the Cardinals were going to score 25, 26, 27 points. After so many years of watching this team struggle mightily to score 20 points consistently, I made a mental note to myself to appreciate what I was watching. Because it would be gone at some point.
Then Warner retired, and Derek Anderson, Max Hall, Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, yada, yada, yada, points were hard to come by once again.
So as we enjoy the holidays and get set for Christmas tomorrow, let’s remember and appreciate the gift the Cardinals received way back on the very non-Christmasy date of April 2, 2013, when the Cards dropped back 43 spots late in the 2013 draft (flipping a sixth for a seventh) and then giving up a 2014 seventh-round pick to get quarterback Carson Palmer from the Raiders. If that’s not the definition of a gift, I’m not sure what is.
Sure, it took a little time. Palmer had to figure out the offense. Then there were injuries in 2014. But now? Again, the numbers are fantastic. The Cardinals already have a franchise-record 445 points. Palmer is 307 yards short of Warner’s 2008 franchise record for passing yards (4,583) and Palmer already has set the franchise record for TD passes (32). He’s not turning the ball over (and did you expect to see that after the first half of 2013?) Most importantly, the Cards have a franchise-record 12 wins with two left to play, and Palmer, amazingly, has won 25 of his last 29 starts and is 28-8 overall as a starter in Arizona.
For all the wonderful things Warner did in Arizona, his win-loss record was never that eye-popping.
That’s not a shot at Warner, who never had as complete of an offensive cast around him, nor as deep a roster. But in a game where so much hinges on one position, Palmer — like Warner — matters. You don’t know when it’s going to end nor what the Cards will have at QB on the other side. While I have no doubt Palmer is appreciated (that was sealed as soon as the 2014 dream season was derailed with his knee injury), it’s good to appreciate the Palmer era in the moment.
Tags: Carson Palmer
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