T.Ochocinco-Less: Cincinnati Bengals Carson Palmer Has Career Game vs. Chargers

MatthewContributor IDecember 27, 2010

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 19: Quarterback Carson Palmer #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates throwing a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Take away Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco, add a new dynamic to the team.

It’s a dynamic that includes not having to force the ball to the tandem to keep the in-game huddles and post-game comments from getting too tense with their egos being more important to them than winning the game.

Carson Palmer completed 76 percent of his throws for a season-high four touchdowns, 269 yards and, for the second straight week, no interceptions.

We should probably point out that the now 4-11 Bengals were playing the San Diego Chargers, a team with the league’s top defense (first against the pass) that was playing for the chance to stay alive in the playoff hunt.

Three receivers caught at least four receptions for 56 yards or more. Of the three, rookie tight end Jermaine Gresham, was the only regular starter. Jerome Simpson, who had his first reception of the season last week against Cleveland, had six catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns.

Simpson was starting for the guy who normally wears No. 85 for the Bengals.

Vincent Jackson’s holdout this season in San Diego didn’t stop Philip Rivers from starting the season on pace to shatter Dan Marino’s single-season yardage record and earn a trip to the Pro Bowl.

We saw Randy Moss traded from New England, and we’ve seen Tom Brady deliver an MVP season. 

Peyton Manning has continued to win despite the humble Reggie Wayne being the constant on his offense.

After Sunday, Palmer can be added the list of quarterbacks whose game improved drastically after losing their top diva(s).

Brady’s rating of 82.7 against San Diego was his third worst of the season. Manning was at home against the Chargers, but his 59.8 remains his lowest of the season.

Palmer posted a career-best passer rating of 157.2 on Sunday. And don’t forget who he was (or wasn’t) throwing to.

Palmer isn’t better than Brady or Manning, but maybe we've thrown the guy under the bus a bit too soon.