The Rise and Fall of Carson Palmer: Will He Become an Elite QB in 2010?

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistJuly 12, 2010

SAN DIEGO - DECEMBER 20:  Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the Cincinnati Bengals on the field against the San Diego Chargers on December 20, 2009 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.  The Chargers won 27-24.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Remember those rowdy days of the 1990s?

The Dallas Cowboys were America's Team, Brett Favre had just entered the league, and Michael Jordan continued to impress just about everybody in his time with the Chicago Bulls.

But perhaps one of the less notable sporting achievements that goes unmentioned these days, is professional wrestling's skyrocketing popularity, partially due to a little program titled "ECW."

For those who are unfamiliar with the program, basically it was the same as today's modern era of wrestling, only with barbed-wire baseball bats, and a few beds of thumbtacks that would scare even The boogieman straight.

"So how does this relate to football?" I hear you ask, well it's simple. 

In the 1990's ECW was all the rage.  That is until it totally fell off the bandwagon, and went through a rather saddening "Rise and fall" period, that saw the company lose ratings, and eventually wind up off the air.

In the NFL, Carson Palmer has suffered the same fate a little.  Sure he is still on television, but looking back at past years in Palmer's career, I think you'll agree that he to has gone through a disappointing patch, resulting in a fall off from his usual impressive ways.

However, luckily for all of us Carson Palmer fans out there, hope is far from lost.

Yes, according to many analysts, Palmer is set for bigger and better things in 2010.

Last season saw Palmer play reasonably well.  He ended the season with 3,094 yards, 21 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, and more or less carried the Bengals to the playoffs, when the team seemed close to down and out.

This season though, things have taken a change for the better.

The first point worthy of making about Carson Palmer's career right now is that he appears healthy.

In past seasons, Carson has had an unlucky run with injuries, and it seems that just when he recovers from one, another small wound popped up just in time to derail any immediate plans he may have had.

As of now, this doesn't appear to be the case.  Carson Palmer is entering his eighth season in the NFL this year, and for some fans this brings with it an almost "veteran" like status. 

But don't confuse this term with old age, as Carson is still the vibrant passer he once was.

Aside from past injuries, though, the biggest story to unfold right now for Carson Palmer is, of course, his new weapons.  If you thought that his combination with Chad Ochocinco has been impressive in past years, I doubt that it will compare to how explosive his chemistry may be with 2010 Draft picks Jordan Shipley and Jermaine Gresham.

When Cincinnati originally drafted the two men, I, like most people, was a little surprised at first.  After careful consideration, though, it was easy to draw some sense out of the decision, and it has become clear that the Cincinnati offense is stacked close to the breaking point.

Therefore, Carson Palmer has every viable option to excel in 2010.  He is healthy, he is still young but also quite experienced, and has a range of options to choose from. 

Now I was never any good at math, but to me adding all of these factors up should equal a successful season.

But what about the problems?  Are there any issues that could set Carson Palmer back?

To me, every quarterback in the NFL has at least one issue they must overcome this season.  Hell, even Peyton Manning could avoid flirting with the defense a little on each possession.

When it comes to Carson Palmer though, the obvious issue is consistency.  Can he utilize all of his targets?  And can he maintain stability and motivation through all 16 regular season games?

These are all questions I have no real answer to.  If history is noteworthy though, Carson Palmer's experience should do most of the talking.

For those fans that have their NFL sleeper teams firmly mapped out, I suggest you include Cincinnati, as they are definitely a force in the AFC North.  Talent, experience and some solid coaching has turned this team into quite a promising threat.

Let's just hope that Cincinnati can get over that last hurdle, as we all know that they have struggled to do so in so many past years. 

Will Carson Palmer continue along his impressive ways, or fall a little in 2010?

Realistically, he should rise quicker than steam.  Good quarterbacks are able to excel when their team needs them, and I don't think there is any question in regards to whether Carson Palmer is a talented athlete.


Ryan Cook is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report . He is also an NFL columnist for Real Sports Net and a Green Bay Packers writer for Fan Huddle and PackerChatters . Don't forget to follow him on Twitter .