Longtime members of a particular organization tend to have a strong bias in its favor for obvious reasons. One typically takes a retired player’s comments about his former team with a grain of salt or two as a result. But where does quarterback Carson Palmer stand relative to the Cincinnati Bengals? After all, he put himself out of there.
Be that as it may, he has strong feelings about their current man under center, Joe Burrow, who is now going into his fourth season and coming off back-to-back appearances in the AFC Championship game, with a title run in 2021 that came up just a minute short.
Palmer recently hopped onto The QB Room podcast with Kyle Allen—whose partner is Palmer’s brother, Jordan—to discuss a number of topics. The highlight was his conversation about Burrow and the strides he has made early in his career.
“I think Joe is the best quarterback in the league”, he said, even mentioning Patrick Mahomes and saying that he believes that Burrow is the more consistent player. “He’s more accountable to run the system and the play that’s called and not feel like, ‘Well, he didn’t win last time and get open for me, so I’m gonna do it with my feet’, and then before you know it, you’re sacked for a four-yard loss because you tried to make two or three guys miss”, he added.
Mahomes, of course, is coming off of his second Super Bowl title after beating the Bengals in the conference finals and then the Philadelphia Eagles in the championship game, so things could certainly be going worse for him regardless of Palmer’s opinion.
The former Bengals quarterback went on to say that he doesn’t believe Burrow has any weaknesses. He described him as mentally and physically tough with an accurate and strong arm and praised his velocity and time-to-throw, adding that his athleticism also allows him to make plays with his legs when needed.
Since being drafted first overall in 2020, Burrow is 24-17-1, including a 22-10 record over the past two seasons. He has completed 1,044 of 1,530 passes for 11,774 yards with 82 touchdowns to 32 interceptions. He has rushed for 517 yards with 10 touchdowns as well. And he’s 5-2 in the postseason.
Mahomes has a 64-16 record as a starter over five-plus seasons, going 1,985-for-2,993. He has thrown for 24,241 yards with 192 touchdowns to 49 interceptions with 1,547 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. He is 11-3 in the postseason in five total appearances with two rings.
Ultimately, one gets the sense that this “debate” is far from over. The Bengals and Chiefs have squared off in the AFC Championship game in each of the past two seasons. Surely they will meet again in the playoffs a few times over the next several years. And winning head-to-head is pretty good bragging rights for a quarterback against another quarterback, even in a team game.