You read the title right. Seven years ago today, Carson Palmer put his name in the record books — as far as ESPN is concerned.
Seven years ago today, on Oct. 25, 2009, Carson Palmer played the greatest game ever by a quarterback in the NFL.
According to ESPN, that is.
By doing a little bit of research, I found under ESPN’s “All-time Best Games” tab that Palmer owns the highest QBR ever by a quarterback, an overall 99.9 rating from seven years ago.
QBR was first developed and implemented in 2008. It was created by a team from the ESPN Stats & Information group. It is scored on a range from 0-100, where 50 is average. The problem with the stat, however, is that only ESPN has the formula to calculate it.
Which leads to some questionable accolades:
Batch’s performance has since been taken off the top spot of all time and was replaced by Cincinnati’s no. 1 overall pick in the 2003 draft.
Bears @ Bengals:
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The game itself was a blowout for the Bengals, but Palmer’s legendary outing was not the biggest story line. Cincinnati beat the Chicago Bears, 45-10, and what made headlines was Cedric Benson burning his former team for nearly 200 rushing yards.
Benson’s performance that day earned him the no. 5 spot on NFL.com’s Top 10 revenge games. Palmer’s got him the top spot on a list on ESPN.com. You can watch the full episode here.
Palmer threw touchdowns on the Bengals’ first four drives of the game; finding Chris Henry, Chad Ochocinco, J.P Foschi, and Laveranues Coles, respectively, for scores to give Cincinnati a 31-3 lead at the half.
On Cincinnati’s first drive of the second half, Palmer threw touchdown number five, finding Ochocinco from 13 yards out to give the Bengals a 35-3 advantage.
In six drives, the Bengals scored five touchdowns (all thrown by Palmer) and one field goal.
It wasn’t until Cincinnati’s seventh possession that Benson would finally reach the end zone against his former club, running in a one-yard score to make it a 45-10 game, which would stand as the final.
In the end, Palmer only threw for 233 yards, but he completed 20 of 24 passes and a career-high five touchdowns—a performance dubbed by ESPN as the greatest ever by an NFL quarterback.
If you go down the list, you will find Palmer is the only quarterback to have two games in the top 10. His four-touchdown performance in a 2010 victory over the San Diego Chargers — his last game as a Bengal at Paul Brown Stadium — ranks no. 7.
Comparison to the Red Rifle
Current Bengals’ signal caller Andy Dalton cracks the Top 50 on one occasion. Against the Jets in 2013, Dalton tossed five touchdowns in a 49-9 victory. His 98.3 QBR in that win ranks 46th all time.
Fans love to compare Dalton and Palmer. The latter led Cincinnati out of the depths of the “Bungle” era. While the former has currently taken the team to five straight postseason trips.
On top of trumping Palmer in nearly every statistical passing category and team success, Dalton has eclipsed the former-Bengal in QBR, too.
From 2006-2010, Palmer posted a QBR of 90 or more six times. Dalton has done it nine times since 2012, including Sunday’s 90.2 rating in a win over Cleveland.
Palmer may have left Cincinnati on bad terms after the 2010 season, but at least Who Dey Nation can say he had the greatest outings — specifying QBR — during his tenure in the Queen City.