Do stats tell the full story of one being worthy of the NFL’s most prestigious club the Hall-of-Fame? And if it does, then why does Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer get so much criticism and not automatically in the discussion of wearing the yellow jacket one day.
Most of Palmers harshest critics believe that he is nowhere near this secret accomplishment, and I ask why not?
The postseason is usually everyone’s defense as to why someone is or isn’t worthy of the yellow jacket club. Well, like it or not Carson Palmer has lead two teams to the postseason and recently in 2015 has won in the postseason. Also, super bowls alone can’t be the marker, otherwise Brad Johnson, Trent Dilfer, Jeff Hostetler, and even Joe Flacco would automatically be in the Hall based on one game. So, super bowls cannot remain the excuse to taking Palmer out of the conversation.
So that leaves us with the numbers to determine and if that be true, then the numbers will show and prove that Carson Palmer should be in the room when it comes to who is worthy of the highest accolade in an NFL career when he is done playing.
There have only been five quarterbacks in NFL history that have passed for 5000 yards in a season, Dan Marino, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Mathew Stafford, and Drew Brees leads all of them having done it five times.
Of this group, three have won Super Bowls and one has made it to the big game and lost in his only appearance(Marino), and one (Stafford) hasn’t sniffed a Super Bowl at all. 5000 yards in one season is special and perhaps when these guys are done playing they will be fitted with the jacket. But does one need to win a super bowl or pass for 5000 yards in a season to automatically qualify for the Hall? And we know that is not the case because there are several super bowl winners and losers that have not reached these accomplishments and they are either in or mentioned for the HOF.
After exploring the league’s history of 4000-yard passers we see more quarterbacks in the Hall-of-Fame from this level, and like Palmer, a few haven’t even played in a super bowl. The air Coryell general Dan Fouts is in the Hall with his 40,040 yards and (4) 4,000-yard passing seasons.
Run and shoot gun-slinger Warren Moon also played in the postseason and like Palmer, has never been in a Super Bowl. Yet he is in the prestigious club with 49,325 passing yards also (4) 4000-yard season in a 17-year career. Both of these guys did not always operate on winning teams.
The great John Elway reached the 4,000-yard mark one time in his entire 16-year career in 1993, this proves that even for a legend in a great offense, reaching the 4,000-yard mark is not that easy to surpass consistently.
Here is something that will blow your mind. Joe Montana who is arguably the best quarterback in NFL history, and Jim Kelly of the K-gun offense that went to four straight super-bowls, both have not hit the 4,000-yard mark at all in their careers, that is unbelievable. Peyton Manning leads all quarterbacks in 4000-yard seasons with 13, the point being this is a great accomplishment especially if you have done it multiple times.
So how does Carson Palmer fair with the elite 4000-yard passing club, and do his numbers stack up to the passers in history that have made it to the HOF?
Let’s see… Palmer has passed for over 4000-yards six times in his career, and in 2010 as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals, he missed 4000 by only 30 yards, which can be rounded to another 4000. He is in the top ten in passing yards seven times since 2004 season. Not to mention his MVP caliber 2015 season and counting.
Passing consistently for 4,000 yards a season certainly cannot go overlooked regardless if it’s a winning team or not. Because when the career ends all that will matter is the tally of the numbers just as it did for the greats that set the standard in the past.
Looking at the numbers, how could one not include Palmer among the league’s elite. Perhaps it may take him a little longer to get voted in to club yellow jacket when he is done playing, but like that old saying “the numbers do not lie” if the criteria to get in the HOF is numbers based, then Carson Palmer’s name must be mentioned because he has passing numbers better than past and present QB’s that are currently in the club.
Of course, winning a super bowl would dramatically increase his chances, But regardless, when Palmer is done playing he will have close to 50,000 yards passing and according to the past greats that made it in, that should be enough to earn the respect that I feel he has deserved for a long time.