NFL wrap – Carson Palmer, missed PATs, Packers, Bengals, NFC East
Palmer gets hit over and over
The Arizona Cardinals’ struggles continued on Sunday with another defeat, this time to the hands of the Minnesota Vikings. The main drop off in the Cardinals performance this season has been the offense, with quarterback Carson Palmer failing to fire. Against a strong Vikings defence Palmer was hit an incredible 23 times and sacked on four occasions. It’s amazing Palmer played out the match after taking that many hits, and the Cardinals offensive line has to do a much better job in protecting their veteran quarterback or face the possibility of playoffs without him.
Kickers take the weekend off
After the PAT spot was moved from the 2-yard line to the 15-yard line in 2014, we’ve seen a few missed attempts every now and then. However on Sunday we witnessed a staggering 12 missed PATs. The most on one weekend ever. Although some matches were played in blustery and wet conditions, they were nothing out of the ordinary. The Vikings cut kicker Blair Walsh last week for failing to make simple kicks, however if the current kickers continue to miss like they did on Sunday, Walsh will be back in a job before we know it.
Packers falling away
Well this isn’t the Green Bay Packers outfit we’ve gotten used to over the years. The Packers surrendered 42 points to the Redskins on Sunday night, and 47 against the Titans the week before. No doubt injuries have hurt them, especially at cornerback, however they have always dealt well with these types of blows in the past. The Packers now find themselves 2 games off first place in the NFC North and quickly slipping out of playoff contention. It looks like not even Aaron Rodgers can save them now.
AJ hurt, Bernard gone, Bengals gone?
Not much has gone right for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2016. In their 16-12 loss to the Bills on Sunday, the Bengals lost Giovani Bernard for the year to a torn ACL and AJ Green for a month to a hamstring tear. Without their two main offensive weapons it’s hard to see the Bengals trumping either the Steelers or Ravens for divisional supremacy. They now need their defence to stand up and Andy Dalton to produce something amazing.
NFC East remains strong
Whoever said the NFC East was weak? The teams are flying, or three of them are anyway. The Cowboys (9-1) are the league’s best team and continue to get better, while the Giants (7-3) and the Redskins (6-3-1) are both looking good for playoff births as well. The East is historically a dull division where the winner usually claims the playoff spot in week 17, however 2016 is looking completely different for the teams in the NFC East.