Palmer Out, Stanton In (11/10/14)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
Can the Cardinals win the Super Bowl with Drew Stanton?



Monday Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians confirmed that quarterback Carson Palmer suffered a season-ending knee injury in Sunday's 31-14 win against the St. Louis Rams.

The injury will force backup Drew Stanton into the lineup. Stanton is 4-3 as a starter in his career and went 2-1 earlier this season when Palmer was sidelined by a dead nerve in his throwing shoulder.

In four games for the Cardinals this season, Stanton has completed 49.5% of his passes for 614 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Stanton is not nearly as accurate as Palmer who had a 62.9% completion rate this year.

Can the Cardinals win the Super Bowl with Drew Stanton?

With Palmer starting the rest of the season the Cardinals, with the best record in the NFL, are projected to win the NFC West with an 11.4-4.6 record (an average of 50,000 simulations). Arizona has a 90 percent chance of reaching the playoffs and a 6 percent chance of winning the Super Bowl, the sixth best odds in the league.

With Stanton starting the rest of the season the Cardinals are still projected to win the NFC West. With a projected record of 11.1-4.9, Arizona has an 83 percent chance of making the playoffs. However, the Cardinals have just a 3 percent chance of winning the Super Bowl on its home field.

By virtue of its 8-1 record Arizona is almost certainly a playoff team, even with Stanton starting. The downgrade at quarterback though does cause a 50 percent reduction in the Cardinals' Super Bowl odds.

Arizona will still reach the postseason with Stanton but it's more likely to be watching the Super Bowl from home then playing it on their home field.

Cardinals Project Season – with and without Carson Palmer

Projected Stats With Palmer With Stanton
Record 11.4-4.6 11.1-4.9
Chance to reach playoffs 90% 83%
Chance to win Super Bowl 6% 3%