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Arizona Cardinals

Updated Oct 24, 2013 - 7:25 pm

ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski: Cardinals to ‘start looking' for Palmer's replacement

There's good news and bad news for Arizona Cardinals' quarterback Carson Palmer.

First, the bad news: Palmer has thrown 13 interceptions, second only to Eli Manning among NFL quarterbacks.

And the good news? According to ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski, if he throws anymore on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, his interception total isn't likely to get too much higher.

While a guest with Burns and Gambo on Thursday, Jaworski made it clear: If Palmer doesn't improve his performance Sunday, his job may be up for grabs.

"I think you have to start looking," Jaworski said of the Cardinals' quarterback situation.

"I'm a big Carson Palmer fan, but his decision making has not been good," the analyst went on. "Far too many interceptions. When you look at 4.9 percent of his passes being intercepted, that percentage is way too high. That should be around 2 percent for a veteran quarterback."

Palmer's turnover problem has specifically hurt the team in losses, as the 11th-year quarterback has four interceptions in the Cardinals' last two games, both of which were lost to division foes. The former no. 1 overall pick has also fumbled the ball three times in 2013.

Jaworski thinks the Cardinals are on the brink of turning the page, saying the quarterback's knack for the turnover is unacceptable.

"Carson Palmer is turning the football over at a volume you cannot accept and you have to start looking elsewhere unless he can get it under control," the analyst reiterated, this time more explicitly.

Those defending Palmer naturally point to the offensive line, which has allowed an NFC-most 20 sacks. And while that has undoubtedly affected Palmer's performance this season, Jaworski notes that the decision making, not the sacks, are the most glaring of his shortcomings.

"Now you can (point to) the offensive line and the pressure," he said. "That certainly is part of it, but you still have to be judicious with the football."

As a veteran who has had 11 years to work on his decision making, there is no longer a learning curve for Palmer. There's no additional grace for youth. And in Week 8, a lack of familiarity with the playbook won't hold up as an excuse anymore.

There's no waiting around for a 33-year-old quarterback to make better decisions. And this weekend could be his last for the Cardinals, says Jaworski.

"I think it's a crossroads this week," he said. "It's an Atlanta defense that has been shredded by most offenses that play against (them)."

"So I believe Carson Palmer needs a big game against this poor Atlanta defense or else I believe there might be a change."

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