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Carson Palmer is Key

Carson Palmer is scheduled to make his first start of the pre-season since suffering a torn ACL last January in a playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has practiced and has shown very good mobility but he is yet to suffer his first hit since being injured. Tonight is the night where everyone gets to see just how far Palmer has come in a short rehab time for this particular injury. He is expected to play well into the 3rd quarter tonight and will surely take his first licks in quite some time. Many people are questioning the decision to play Palmer before the season opener because of the ramifications of any type of further injury that he may suffer. If you are betting on this game be sure to grab Maddux's spread prediction on this game via our NFL Picks page. We have a premium pick on the side and a free pick on the games total.

Let’s face it, the Bengals season depends on Palmer’s health. Expectations are high in Cincinnati this season but this team is in definite trouble if he is not on the field. They have plenty of talent around him but those guys need Palmer in order for the Bengals to reach the heights of where they want to go. If something were to happen to Palmer, Anthony Wright would step in as the starting QB. Wright is an incredible downgrade from Palmer and that’s an understatement. His career passer rating is a dismal 66.6.

Palmer is the straw that stirs the drink for these Cincinnati Bengals and they will only go as far as Palmer will take them. With Wright in there, people will stack the line against Rudi Johnson because of his inability to get the ball to Chad Johnson and the other receivers. With Palmer in there, defenses are forced to defend the run and the pass. Palmer at his best makes this one of the most potent offenses in the league. Without him they sadly become a barely .500 team in my mind. So Bengals fans must be hope that Palmer is as far along as he says he is and that he stays that way.

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2006 NFL Team Previews

We have broken down this seasons 2006 NFL preview into the divisions and from there you can see our predictions as well as individual team previews of each National League Football Team. Click here to return to the main 2006 NFL season preview page.


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