Carson Palmer-Bruce Arians partnership waning?


Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer ran his streak of consecutive games with multiple interceptions to five in Thursday night's 34-22 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Before the onset of garbage time in the middle of the fourth quarter, Palmer had just 20 adjusted net passing yards on 31 dropbacks.

There is plenty of blame to spread around, however. Palmer's pass protection was nonexistent, and Cardinals coach Bruce Arians' faith remains unflagging in an offensive scheme that abandons the run, relies on deep routes out of spread looks and leaves the quarterback extra vulnerable to a wave of pass rushers.

Palmer is finding out the hard way that what Andrew Luck and Ben Roethlisberger already know: Arians' offense leads to a four-quarter beating for the quarterback.

Palmer entered the game with a red-zone passer rating under 50.0 and exited as a quarterback Arians will be looking to replace with an early-round draft pick in 2014.

Asked about his quarterback situation after Palmer's two interceptions against the Seahawks, Arians seemed to leave the door open to making a change even sooner than that.

"It's the reasons for the interceptions. Is it his decision-making?" the coach said. "If it's his decision-making, then we make a change. But the first one to me was obvious pass interference and the safety makes a great play. The second one was just a poor decision. Those are the ones we have to look at."

Here's what else we learned in Thursday's game:

1. Offensive line play is down across the league, with these two teams as primary culprits. We mentioned on Wednesday's "Around The League Podcast" that Cardinals left tackle Bradley Sowell is a noticeable downgrade at the position, leaving the Levi Brown trade as the rare lose-lose variety. Sowell was tossed like a rag doll by several Seattle pass rushers. Similarly, John Abraham -- the NFL's active career sack leader -- put a clown suit on Seahawks right tackle Michael Bowie.

2. This was the closest the Seahawks' offense has come to clicking on all cylinders this season, thanks in large part to Russell Wilson's masterful improvisational skills. Driven by his Skinnerian desire for Skittles, Marshawn Lynch continues to excel as the league's most violent runner.

3. On a night when his teammates were responsible for seven sacks, free safety Earl Thomas was the most impressive of the Seattle defenders. He's the rangiest safety in the league.

4. The Cardinals' running game had no hope of getting on track with Seattle dominating the trenches. Wilson rushed for more yards than Rashard Mendenhall and Andre Ellington combined. Mendenhall now is averaging a paltry 3.05 yards per carry while Ellington leads all NFL rookies in first downs. The latter's role should grow at the former's expense, even if that's mere wishful thinking.

5. It seems counterintuitive, but Arizona's defense impressed despite the 34 points allowed. The offense put them in a bind all night, and Wilson simply was magical as both a passer and a scrambler.

6. As editor David Ely pointed out, Campbell's dominant first half was the best any player has ever performed four days after leaving the field on a stretcher. A unique talent, Campbell is one of the league's premier defensive ends.

7. Larry Fitzgerald is the friendliest blocker in the league. He pulled up on a peel-back block in the first half, effectively shielding Walter Thurmond without sending him to the trainer's room. Late in the game, Fitzgerald decleated Richard Sherman in a similar situation. He immediately checked on Sherman to make sure he was uninjured before the two hugged it out. Still nursing a hamstring injury, Fitzgerald was essentially a non-factor in the passing game. The Palmer-to-Fitzgerald connection has been responsible for six interceptions this season.

8. Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner told NFL Network's Alex Flanagan that he will be fined $100 by the "Legion of Boom" defensive backs group for tripping over a turf monster on an interception return that came up one yard shy of a pick six. The Keystone Cops routine left coach Pete Carroll doubled over in laughter.

The latest Around The League Podcast discussed the NFL's most impressive rookies.