The loss of a starting quarterback can torpedo a season faster than any other injury in football.
The Cardinals, though, are getting solid performances from their backups.
The team is 2-2 since Carson Palmer went down, and it's hard to blame Drew Stanton or Blaine Gabbert in the losses to the Seahawks and Texans. The Cardinals were within one score in the fourth quarter of both of those defeats and each signal-caller managed the game well.
Gabbert's performance in Sunday's win over Jacksonville was particularly impressive, as he looked poised and decisive in the pocket against its elite defense. He joined the Chargers' Philip Rivers as the only quarterbacks to throw multiple touchdowns against the Jaguars this season.
Gabbert and Stanton deserve credit for keeping the Cardinals afloat, but so, too, does coach Bruce Arians, who has an offensive system that is intricate but fruitful once a signal-caller masters it.
"It's a heavy workload on a quarterback, and we ask them to do an awful lot," Arians said. "But once you get it, it's pretty quarterback-friendly."
Many teams are sunk without their starting quarterback, but the Cardinals have shown over the past few years they can remain competitive without Palmer.
|Backup Quarterback Starts in 2017|
|Drew Stanton||49ers (W)||15||30||201||2||1||80.0|
|Drew Stanton||Seahawks (L)||24||47||273||1||0||75.9|
|Blaine Gabbert||Texans (L)||22||34||257||3||2||92.4|
|Blaine Gabbert||Jaguars (W)||22||38||241||3||1||83.3|