The Arizona Cardinals are in the NFC title game despite some shaky moments by quarterback Carson Palmer in Saturday’s overtime victory against the Green Bay Packers.
Palmer’s teammates, however, pointed to the final result and said the quarterback’s performance in his first playoff win was all a matter of perception.
“I think he displayed why he’s an MVP candidate and a guy who’s so respected around this league,” veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. “He comes out and throws three touchdowns and leads us in the second half with the way he performed. He made some great plays and got out of pressure. That’s the kind of leader we’re all going to follow.”
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Palmer had to overcome a rough first half in which he threw for only 74 yards and an awful end zone interception early in the fourth quarter to rally the Cardinals. He bounced back from the interception by capping an 80-yard march with a scoring pass to Michael Floyd to reclaim the lead.
“Yeah, it’s easy to dwell on things like (the interception), but the experience I have, I’ve learned from a lot of opportunities and situations,” Palmer said. “You’ve got to forget about it and move on. There is no other thought. You’ve just got to move on.”
Underrated part of the big play in OT to Larry Fitzgerald: how about the deft spin move in the pocket from 36-year-old Carson Palmer?
That mindset served Palmer well after Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers sent the game into overtime with a stunning Hail Mary pass to Jeff Janis on the final play of regulation. On the first play from overtime, Palmer kept his poise in the pocket before finding Fitzgerald on a 75-yard catch-and-run to set up the winning touchdown pass.
“That’s what I love about him, he can rebound,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said of Palmer. “Some guys can’t ever recover from those type of things. He bounces right back.”