Would Palmer benefit from the Bengals dumping Ochocinco?

There have already been reports that the Bengals won’t bring back Terrell Owens next season. And if they believe that Carson Palmer’s success Sunday against the Chargers was, in part, of both T.O. and Chad Ochocinco not being in the lineup, then they may part with The Ocho next season, too.

Palmer had his best game of the season on Sunday in absence of T.O. and Ochocinco, who were both nursing injuries. He completed 16-of-21 passes for 269 yards and four touchdowns. His completion percentage of 76.2 and his QB rating of 157.2 was his highest of the season – by far. It was also the most touchdown passes he’s thrown in a single game this year and he didn’t throw an interception.

Granted, it was only one game. And one game is too small a serving size to draw any conclusions about whether or not Palmer is a better quarterback with or without Ochocinco, T.O., T.J. Houshmandzadeh or whatever other receiver that isn’t afraid to express his desire to need the ball. But it’s somewhat telling that Palmer had his best game with T.O. and Ochocinco standing on the sideline. This wasn’t the Redskins or Panthers that Palmer lit up either – it was the San Diego Chargers, the top ranked defense in the league.

T.O. had season-ending surgery a week ago and Ochocinco may not play next week either. It’ll be interesting to see how Palmer plays against a Ravens team that is still fighting for first place in the AFC North. If he’s efficient, then maybe the Bengals need to consider taking a longer look at keeping Palmer and jettisoning Ochocinco. After all, this team is long overdue for an offensive makeover and maybe getting rid of Palmer isn’t the answer like some are suggesting.

Again, it was only one game and there are plenty of reasons to think that Palmer isn’t, and hasn’t been the same player since suffering that knee injury in 2004. That said, it’ll still be interesting to watch him play next week without worrying about appeasing any of his receivers.

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