Carson Palmer doesn’t think the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens can beat teams with their passing game in the playoffs.
Despite both the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens hosting Wild Card round playoff games this weekend, Carson Palmer is a little wary that both teams can pull out a win.
Mobile quarterbacks are having a moment in the NFL, with young players like Mitchell Trubisky, Dak Prescott and Lamar Jackson all getting it done with their legs more so than in the air for their teams. As great of a weapon as the passing game can be for teams who want to keep the defense on their toes, Palmer doesn’t think it can work for long.
It’s true that a dual-threat quarterback is more susceptible to injuries when they take off for a run, compared to a traditional pocket passer, which is why Palmer wants to see both Trubisky and Jackson take fewer hits.
“At the end of the day I think the game is won inside the pocket,” Palmer said. “It doesn’t have to be won 16 weeks in a row inside the pocket, but at some point, you have to beat people by standing in the pocket and delivering throws accurately downfield. With the way that [they] get hit with all the QB designed runs, it’s tough to sustain that for a 16 week season and into the postseason.”
Trubisky ranks fifth in the league in rushing yards per game for quarterbacks, averaging a little over 30 yards a game. It’s not that he hasn’t been successful using his feet to avoid sacks and get downfield, Trubisky is third among quarterbacks in yards per rushing attempt at 6.2. The problem Palmer sees with Trubisky is that when it comes to the postseason that doesn’t always work in high-pressure situations, especially when it leads to hits on the QB.
It’s not just Trubisky Palmer is talking about, Jackson runs the ball even more than Trubisky and has taken some hard hits in the seven games he’s started in his rookie campaign.
“I love watching [Jackson] play, I just don’t like seeing him get hit that much,” Palmer said. “If you rush the ball 10, 15 times every week and you’re not 22 years old anymore, in the NFL it’s too many hits. Nobody can take that beating and still be accurate enough with the football and not have issues with the neck and shoulders taking the beating.”
Both teams are similar in that they rely heavily on their defense as well as their run game, whether that comes from their quarterback or running back. So far this season that formula has worked for the Ravens and Bears but heading into the playoffs Palmer thinks the lack of throwing from both QBs will be their downfall.
“At some point, they’re going to be beat because they’re going to get behind and have to throw the football, and that’s not their forte,” Palmer said.