Gordo’s NFL Buzz: With Palmer down, time to move Gabbert up?
Can the NFL finally put Carson Palmer out to pasture?
The battered Arizona Cardinals quarterback suffered a broken left arm Sunday while getting sacked during a miserable 33-0 loss to the Rams in London.
“I know how much time and effort Carson put into getting ready for this season,” back-up quarterback Drew Stanton said. “We’ve been together for five years. My heart goes out to him and this team, losing a guy like that. He’s the toughest individual I’ve ever been around. He was trying to get back into the game.”
The team medical staff nixed that. Palmer is headed to surgical repairs that could end his season. He turns 38 in December and, really, what’s the point in letting him play on?
For now it’s up to fellow Legends of Football Adrian Peterson and Larry Fitzgerald to drive the Gridbirds offense. Stanton completed just 4 of 15 passes for 62 yards and suffered one interception after replacing Palmer.
The No. 3 Cardinals quarterback was . . . Our Town’s Blaine Gabbert, still hanging around the league after his decent run at Mizzou. Now he moves up to No. 2 with some folks arguing he should start.
“We’re going to stick with Drew,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians responded when asked about Gabbert. “I don’t skip two to get to three.”
ESPN.com’s Josh Weinfuss made the case for Gabbert:
In a situation like the one Arizona finds itself in, with nine games left in the season and an outside shot at winning the division, experience should matter more than loyalty. And in this case, Gabbert’s experience far outweighs Stanton’s.
There’s also something to be said for being a starting quarterback in the NFL. Although Gabbert has never started a full season, he consistently has been used as a starter.
The argument should be settled simply by comparing the number of career starts of the pair. Gabbert has 40, including 27 over his first three seasons with Jacksonville and 13 with the 49ers from 2014 to 2016. Stanton has 13 career starts, eight coming in 2014. Gabbert has played 2,339 offensive snaps. Stanton: 984.
Say what you want about Gabbert -- and there’s plenty to be said, specifically about his 9-34 career record -- but when it comes to being able to manage an offense, run a scheme, control a locker room, those 27 more starts give Gabbert a clear advantage over Stanton.
THE VALUE OF COACHING
Hapless Rams coach Jeff Fisher did a great job killing fan interest in St. Louis to facilitate the franchise’s move to Los Angeles. Now his replacement. Sean McVay, is doing his best to help SoCal fall in love with pro football again.
The Rams have won five of their first seven games this season while averaging 30.3 points per game. Running back Todd Gurley is finally locked in after spending last season enjoying the LA amenities and quarterback Jared Goff is finally progressing.
“We have experienced a lot of things in these first seven games, but by no means have we arrived,” McVay told reporters after demolishing the Gridbirds in London. “There’s a lot of improvement that we can continue to focus on, both as coaches and players.”
THE NFL’S GREATEST BLOCKERS
Sure, the Dallas Cowboys offensive line did a nice job clearing holes for Our Town’s Ezekiel Elliott on Sunday. But the best blocking Zeke has received this season has come from his outstanding legal team.
Lawyers have kept Elliott on the field for the Dallas Cowboys despite his six-game NFL suspension. And his teammates appreciate that outstanding effort.
Here is what Elliott did against the 49ers on Sunday in a 40-10 victory: 26 carries for 147 yards and two rushing touchdowns. And he also rambled 72 yards to score on a screen pass.
DYING BY THE SWORD
The freewheeling Atlanta Falcons made it all the way to the Super Bowl last season with their aggressive offense. Their gambling style paid off until the end, when they failed to close out the New England Patriots after taking a 28-3 lead.
And their gambling style has continued backfiring on coach Dan Quinn and offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian this season. Atlanta’s 23-7 loss to the Patriots on Sunday was just one more example of that.
“It’s really just the belief I have in our guys,” Quinn told reporters after the game. “For me, historically I’ve been known to be aggressive with the opportunities we have.”
But SI.com’s Peter King had this take on the defending NFC Champions:
Atlanta’s offense is not in a slump; it’s in crisis. The Falcons are scoring 12.5 points per game less than last year. Matt Ryan had a plus-31 TD-to-pick differential in his MVP season last year; it’s plus-one this year. Last season, they scored less than 20 in a game once. This team has 17, 17 and 7 in its last three games. Maybe Quinn should yank play-calling from Sarkisian. I can tell you with certainty what the Falcons should do, regardless who’s calling the plays: give the most efficient running game in football more than the 22.5 carries per game Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman are getting. That number should be 30, easily.
HOW THE MIGHTY FALL
Remember when the Indianapolis Colts were a model franchise? They kept finding ways to win, then they ditched Peyton Manning and tanked a season to get Andrew Luck, their next great quarterback.
For a long, long time owner Jimmy Irsay lived large with this franchise. But these days the Colts are unspeakably bad. Their 27-0 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars represented rock bottom.
Quarterback Jacoby Brissett suffered 10 sacks while filling in for the injured Luck. The Colts defense allowed the Blake Bortles-led, injury-depleted Jaguars to pile up 518 yards of offense.
SORRY, BUT THAT’S A FAIR QUESTION
Whenever a team goes for it on fourth down and fails, the head coach can expect the call to come up in his postgame news conference. And such was the case for Bengals coach Marvin Lewis after Cincinnati fell to the arch-rival Steelers 29-14.
A reporter asked Lewis, whose team has lost four of six games this season, what he was thinking on that play.
“To score a touchdown,” Lewis said. “I mean, come on.”
Lewis then laughed and stepped away from the microphone.
“Anything else?” he asked before heading for the door.
A good follow-up question might have been “Why does your team stink?”, but nobody got to ask it.