The Cincinnati Bengals are viewed as a legitimate Super Bowl contender. The primary reason for the lofty expectations has been the performance of Carson Palmer. Palmer ranks second in the league in passer rating, behind only Ben Roethlisberger. Given that Roethlisberger has less than half as many attempts as Palmer, it could easily be argued that Palmer has had the most impressive passing campaign of the first half of 2005.
Although I've been impressed with Palmer thus far, I decided to break down the numbers to determine whether all the praise was fully justified. His metrics confirm that he has plenty of strong points, but they also show some glaring weaknesses that could cost the Bengals down the road.
Let's start by reviewing Palmer's metric measurements for the season by route depth (attempt numbers include plays affected by penalties):