I presumed he’d improve if he got away from Pittsburgh and Baltimore, regularly two of the toughest defenses in the NFL who account for a quarter of Palmer’s schedule while playing with the Bengals.
Colin Cowherd hit on a similar theme during The Herd yesterday, suggesting how much better Palmer would fare if he could get to the weak NFC West.
But Mark Simon of ESPN Stats & Information was kind enough to run the numbers for me. Take out Palmer’s games against the Steelers and Ravens and his numbers are not much different at all.
His career passer rating, which factors in completion percentage, touchdowns and interceptions, is 86.9. Without Pittsburgh and Baltimore and it slides up to 89.1.
That’s a significant dent to that theory.
One other element here: I’m hardly married to AccuScore, but we do look weekly at the preview numbers it provides on probabilities of our games.
AccuScore reran the 2010 season with Palmer as the quarterback of five quarterback-needy teams versus the primary quarterback who played for those teams.
San Francisco had 6.5 wins and a 28.1 percent playoff chance with Alex Smith, numbers that move to 8.8 and 66.6 percent with Palmer.
Arizona had 5.6 wins and an 11.0 percent chance of a playoff berth with John Skelton, numbers that shot to 8.8 and 62.2 with Palmer.
Tennessee had 7.3 wins and a 26.5 percent playoff chance with Kerry Collins, numbers that went to 9.0 and 58.4 with Palmer.
Seattle had 5.9 wins and a 14.9 percent playoff chance with Matt Hasselbeck, numbers that moved to 7.3 and 34.5 with Palmer.
Minnesota had 7.9 wins and a 25.4 percent playoff chance with Joe Webb, numbers that moved to 8.5 and 34.3 percent with Palmer.