Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer was one of the top-three players at his position last season. He put up what has to be considered an MVP-caliber campaign, tallying 4,671 passing yards with 35 touchdowns (both career highs).
Despite this level of personal success on a Cardinals team that earned a franchise-record 13 wins and a spot in the NFC Championship game, all of Palmer’s accomplishments were seemingly thrown out the window in a disastrous outing with a Super Bowl appearance on the line.
Palmer threw four interceptions and turned the ball over a total of six times in a humiliating 49-15 loss to the Carolina Panthers in the conference title game.
Now, months removed from this terrible performance, Palmer is simply looking to put it past him:
“You just turn the page,” the quarterback said, via the Arizona Republic. “You have to. There is no dwelling. There is no feeling sorry for yourself. There is no locking yourself in a closet. I’ve played 150-something games. You can’t let one game define you. You just have to move on.”
At 36 years old, Palmer knows he has less than a handful of seasons remaining in the NFL. And based on Arizona’s offseason thus far, primarily the acquisitions of Evan Mathis and Chandler Jones, the team is in prime position to contend for a Super Bowl appearance this upcoming season.
While most will focus on Palmer’s lack of postseason success (1-3 record with five touchdowns and seven picks), there’s little doubt he’s currently up there among the best quarterbacks in the NFL.
The largest issue moving forward won’t be Palmer’s success in the regular season. He’s already proven in that area. Instead, his legacy and how he is viewed moving forward will be based on how Palmer performs when the playoffs come calling.
So while he can go ahead and turn the page, the quarterback knows full well his career will be defined by what happens in January, not September and October.