Carson Palmer’s Shocking Choice for the Most Talented Quarterback He’s Ever Seen

Carson Palmer had a long NFL career that was better than most quarterbacks. He may not go down as the greatest quarterback of all time, but he’s certainly left a mark on the game.  

Recently, Palmer did a radio interview where he commented on who he thought was the most talented quarterback in the NFL. His answer may surprise you. 

Carson Palmer career highlights

Palmer knows a thing or two about quarterbacking. The Cincinnati Bengals made him the first overall pick out of USC in the 2003 NFL Draft. Palmer’s NFL career lasted from 2004-2017. Here’s what he was able to achieve during his decade-plus in the league: 

  • 182 games played
  • Win-loss record of 92-88-1
  • 62.5% completion percentage 
  • 46,247 yards passing
  • 294 touchdowns 
  • 187 interceptions 
  • Three-time Pro Bowl selection

Palmer had an above-average career in the NFL, even if he’ll never be considered for the Hall of Fame. He’s a knowledgeable player who’s opinion still carries weight in NFL circles. 

Carson Palmer’s shocking choice for the most talented quarterback he’s ever seen

When you ask most people who the best quarterback is, the answers will be mostly the same. Most will pick a healthy Pat Mahomes. Others may say Tom Brady for his championships. Some may go with the touch and leadership of Aaron Rodgers. 

Palmer gave credit to those names but went in a different direction. 

In an interview with a Detroit sports radio station, Palmer made his surprising choice for the most talented quarterback in his opinion: Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford

“I think Matthew Stafford has more talent than most of the quarterbacks in the league not named Aaron Rodgers and Mahomes, but he plays for Detroit,” Palmer said. “The quarterback situation is so circumstantial, it’s so based on the organization. If you play for a good organization, you’re going to have a very, very successful career. If you play for a bad organization, it’s turnover and change and firing coaches and firing GM’s.”

Telling any average football fan this would come as a shock. But why, exactly? Why is it that Palmer’s pick of Stafford as the greatest is a bit of an upset? 

Matthew Stafford career overview 

The Detroit Lions made Matt Stafford the first overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft. Since then he’s had an impressive, if inconsistent, career with the Lions. Below are a few of his accomplishments since joining the team: 

  • 146 career games 
  • A win-loss record of 68-77-1
  • 62.4% completion percentage 
  • 39,913 yards passing 
  • 246 touchdowns 
  • 131 interceptions 
  • One Pro Bowl selection
  • 2011 AP Comeback Player of the Year 

The biggest knock on Stafford? Lack of postseason success. The Lions have qualified for the postseason three times with Stafford under center (2011, 2014, and 2016). Here are his playoff numbers: 

  • 74 completions on 117 pass attempts 
  • 908 yards
  • 63.2% completion percentage 
  • Three career games with a record of 0-3
  • 302.7 passing yards per game 

Of all those stats, the most consequential one is his playoff record. Three trips to the playoffs without advancing is not something an elite quarterback does. While Palmer blamed Stafford’s lack of playoff success on the Lions, the fact of the matter is that the greatest quarterbacks find a way to get it done no matter what.

Palmer may commiserate with Stafford because he too had little success in the postseason. He made the playoffs three times (2009, 2015, 2016) and went 1-3 with only five touchdowns. While he did win a single game, he never led a team to a title. 

If Stafford truly wants to be considered one of the great quarterbacks of the era, he’ll win a playoff game ASAP.