first_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Arians said that is not the case and Palmer himself said, “Not at all” when asked if it bothered him.If not the finger, then others might point to his nerves. It was a topic after the win over the Packers, with both quarterback and head coach admitting they were a bit too conservative at times trying to play it safe. The plan going into this game was to take more risks and be the Cardinals again, but with risk comes the chance things will not work out. And Sunday night, very little went Arizona’s way.Palmer said he was pressing some and receiver Larry Fitzgerald agreed, adding he was, too.“You get to this position as an older guy, you know the window of opportunity is closing on you,” he said. “You put the time in, you put so much effort in — the film study, all of that, all the things you do, and sometimes you forget just to take a deep breath and do what you’ve done your entire career. So I can definitely understand where he’s coming from with that position.”While it would be unfair to pin it all on Palmer, the 36-year-old quarterback’s shaky postseason will certainly be a topic during the offseason. That said, there was no lack of support for No. 3 in the locker room after the game. No doubt the large deficit the team faced — Arizona was down 17-0 at the end of the first quarter — contributed to some of the struggles, but overall, it was a night to forget.“Yeah, when you’re down that much you’re not going to just throw a bunch of check-downs and walk off the field,” Palmer said when asked if the team was pressing to get back in the game. “We’re going to fight. We’re going to keep throwing and not take a knee. We’re not going to just throw the ball to the halfback and get tackled on downs and keep that clock running.“We continued to fight and it was just too much to overcome.”Palmer’s night added to what was a rocky postseason for a quarterback who going into the playoffs did not exactly have the best reputation for coming up big in high-pressure games such as these.Last week, against Green Bay, he completed 25-of-41 passes for 349 yards with two interceptions and three touchdowns, and while he wasn’t particularly impressive, the Cardinals did win the game.The Carolina Panthers are a much better team than the Packers, though, and Arizona needed a better Palmer if the team was to advance to Super Bowl 50. The Cardinals, in fact, may have gotten a worse Palmer at the absolute worst time. His first interception of the night came when trying to sneak a pass to John Brown in the end zone near the end of the first half with the score 24-7. CHARLOTTE, N.C. — This was supposed to be Carson Palmer’s true coming out party, the night in which he showed the NFL world that he was an elite quarterback capable of leading a team to the Super Bowl.It did not turn out that way — not even close.The veteran completed just 23-of-40 passes for 235 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions. He also lost a pair of fumbles in what was easily his worst performance of the season as the Cardinals fell to the Panthers 49-15 in the NFC Championship Game. “But at the end of the day, we’re going to ride with Carson, we’re going to die with him. He’s going to be our quarterback here for the long haul, hopefully, and we’ll see what he does next year.” – / 69 The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo “We don’t know if it’s just Carson,” linebacker Dwight Freeney said. “We can’t just point the finger until you really know. It could have been a receiver, it could have been someone slipped, it could have been whatever it was.“Obviously, he didn’t have his greatest game ever, he didn’t have his best game ever, but as long as you go out there and try your hardest that’s all you can expect. That’s all you want for your guys, and I know Carson’s heart. He went out and played as hardest as he possibly could — never quit, never stopped. Did that equate to a championship? Well, hopefully one day. It wasn’t the best day, but those things happen.”Regardless of what happened Sunday, you can expect Palmer to be back next season trying to build on what was, for the most part, his best year as a pro. He bounced back from a torn ACL with a vengeance and earned a Pro Bowl nod for a reason.“He’s still our quarterback; we love him to death,” cornerback Patrick Peterson said. “It’s definitely not the game that he wanted, not the game that we wanted him to have, as well. But at the end of the day, Carson had a great season. Obviously, we didn’t want it to end here, but Carson’s a great quarterback. He’s a 13-year vet — I’m quite sure he’ll bounce back as well as ever. Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Arizona Cardinals’ Carson Palmer watches from the bench during the second half the NFL football NFC Championship game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires “Probably not having enough opportunities,” head coach Bruce Arians said of what the quarterback’s biggest problem was. “Early in the game, like last week, we got stuck behind the chains. Then we started running the ball pretty well and kept it manageable. Somebody running a touchdown.“The force right before the half, trying to get it all in one play. That’s the things we’ll learn from.”Unfortunately for the Cardinals, any knowledge gained from this loss will have to wait until next season to be shown off. In the meantime, they will have to come to grips with the fact that, in the biggest game of the season, one of the league’s best offenses could not get out of its own way.One of the biggest shames in it all is that what transpired Sunday will likely erase a lot of the good the quarterback did this year. He set franchise records for passing touchdowns, passing yards and quarterback rating while leading the team to a franchise-best 13 wins in the regular season.Fair or not, Palmer will be judged largely by what happened Sunday.One issue that either was or was not, actually, an issue, is the injury the quarterback sustained to his right index finger weeks ago in a win over Philadelphia. The quarterback has had it taped up in every game since, and some have speculated on if it has affected his play. Comments   Share   last_img

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