It was the return that all of Cincinnati had been waiting for, and for Carson Palmer, the franchise quarterback passed all the tests with flying colors. Palmer impressed so much that on Tuesday head coach Marvin Lewis put all the doubters to rest – Palmer will start week one at Kansas City. “And now we can move on and quit writing about it. It’s over now. He’ll start in Kansas City,” Lewis said Tuesday. Indeed, Palmer looked as good as ever against a weak Green Bay team, throwing three touchdowns and leading the Bengals to an easy 48-17 win. Palmer looked awesome, going 9-for-14 for 140 yards, and more importantly, he did not show any ill effects of a knee injury that at one point looked as if it may ruin his promising career.
“He’s our leader, and he’s back. That’s got to make any Bengals fan feel real happy,” Willie Anderson said after the game. “I felt good,” Palmer said. “It feels like it’s just football now.” For the Bengals, the fans were clad all in their number 9 jerseys, and for each and every fan out there was happy as a clam that their quarterback was back at the helm. Now, with Palmer back and looking great, the Bengals suddenly look like the team that went 11-5 and won the AFC North. A team that with Palmer that is close to 100 percent has all the opportunity and all the talent in the world behind it. With a solid running game with Rudi Johnson, and Chad Johnson, the Bengals are again on their way to being one of the best in the AFC.
As for Palmer, he is not entirely out of the woods yet. Looking good in a preseason game vs the Packers is not like looking good in a high charged game against a team like the Pats or Steelers, two teams he will have to face early on this season if he stays healthy. For now, Palmer has passed test one, and here is to hoping that he stays healthy, and continues to make plays for the tiger striped Bengals.