Palko’s Chance Is Slipping Away

From Arrowhead Stadium

Tyler Palko’s official welcome to the National Football League came with just under 11 minutes to play in the second quarter of Sunday night’s game between the Chiefs and Steelers.

That’s when Palko ran on the field after a kickoff return and the Arrowhead crowd let him have it. The catcalls were loud and direct. There was no doubting their purpose. At that time, Palko had just thrown a pair of interceptions that led to 10 points for Pittsburgh, or enough for a victory as it turned out.

Not until the home crowd has blasted you can a quarterback truly qualify as an NFL starter.

The sad thing for Palko is that the booing was deserved. In the matter of six days on the November calendar all of Palko’s hopes and dreams have crashed to the ground. After banging around professional football for five years, his chance to be an NFL starting quarterback came with the hand injury suffered by his friend Matt Cassel.

So his first two starts were on national television, against two of the yearly AFC powers, New England and Pittsburgh. The match-up against the Patriots was on the road.

In the end it didn’t much matter whether home or road, Patriots or Steelers. Things have not turned out for Palko. The numbers are vivid and speak to his immediate future:

  • 0-2 record, losing by 34-4 to New England and 13-9 to Pittsburgh.
  • 0 touchdown drives in two games.
  • 6 interceptions thrown, three in each game.
  • 1 fumbled snap that was recovered by Pittsburgh.
  • 43 of 66 passes completed for 403 yards. That’s a 65.2 completion percentage (not bad), with an average per attempt of 6.1 yards (not good).
  • Known for his mobility, Palko has two carries in two games for minus-6 yards.

The numbers that matter most are the 2 losses, the zero touchdowns and the seven giveaways. The head coach has said Palko has the opportunity to win the job for the rest of the season. But based on these two starts there doesn’t figure to be many more opportunities for Palko.

Kyle Orton is on the roster and will have a full week of practice starting on Monday. The situation screams for a change and whether it happens for the Chicago game, or the next week against the Jets, Palko’s opportunity is starting to fall away.

“There’s no loss of confidence,” Palko said after the game. “The turnovers have to stop. You can’t keep beating yourself. That’s what I am doing right now. I am not helping our offensive team. I am not giving them a chance to win and that has to stop.

“I have to get that corrected because our defense splaying well right now. Our offensive line, backs and receivers are doing a good job. We are shooting ourselves in the foot and we are beating ourselves.”

From his first interception on an under thrown pass to WR Steve Breaston that was picked off by CB Ike Taylor, to his final pick, that was grabbed by CB Keenan Lewis when the ball sailed over the head of WR Dwayne Bowe, Palko was able to get had moments where he was getting things done. He ended up throwing for 167 yards and for the most part he got good protection against the Pittsburgh defense.

On several of those plays that ended with interceptions, there appeared to be some communication problems between quarterback and receivers.

Palko quickly snuffed that type of talk.

“Those are all on me, all the interceptions are on me,” Palko said. “Any time the ball leaves your hands you are responsible for it.”

Unfortunately for Tyler Palko, those opportunities to have the ball leave his hand are running dry.


7 Responses to “Palko’s Chance Is Slipping Away”

  • November 28, 2011  - bhive01 says:

    I’ve only managed to watch the first half this morning before I left for work, but I couldn’t believe my eyes. The D was playing HUGE and Tyler kept giving them the fscking ball. First the fumble, then the two picks… If we had scored on any of those possessions we might be talking about a W this morning instead of an L.

    I know it’s big thinking… The NBC crew showed Stanzi on the sideline and I was kind of hoping he’d be warming up after the first pic… :/

    Orton, show up at practice, get your stuff in gear and let’s get a W (for the love of god!).

  • November 28, 2011  - ED J says:

    yeah Collingsworth made the stupidest comment alive about sticking a rookie in there. Isn’t that what Browns did last yr against Steelers and Pats he actually won one if not both of those games. Isn’t that what Panthers, Bengals, and Vikings did this yr. Seriously stupid comment on Collingsworth. My thing was if Haley had a pair he would’ve put Stanzi out there. I mean how much worse could he have play than Palko. I know Haley loyal guy he says he believes in creating competition. If he allows Palko start against Bears after the last 2 performances consider me off the Haley bangwagon. Because Seriously he made huge mistake in making Palko #2 QB then compounded by leaving him out there when he clearly begin to look like deer in headlights after the second pick.

  • November 28, 2011  - Steve says:

    I appreciated Palko taking the blame for miscommunication with the receivers (although it gives you an idea of what Cassell must have been dealing with also.) Bob, in another article this morning you mentioned how Palko is easy to root for because of his intense study and preparation. But you’re right – he has played himself out of the job.

  • November 28, 2011  - aPauled says:

    Apparently Palko and the WRs were preparing on different fields this week/season. They were on completely different pages as to their reads. Bowe did point to the endzone on the last INT, but didn’t Palko see the…not double, not triple, but quadruple coverage he was throwing into?

    This team continues to make “dumb mistakes” which leads to questions about preparation, development and leadership. None of the three is near where they need to be.

  • November 28, 2011  - Tim says:

    He’s just not an NFL QB. If we get eliminated mathmatically, we need to see Stanzie in some of the remaing games.

  • November 28, 2011  - ED J says:

    Agreed Tim.excuses ppl trying give is ridiculous the Breaston pass he was clearly trying out run coverage he Palko clearly didnt hv arm.strength to get it downfield

  • November 28, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    Not sure how much some of you could see on tv but Palko is a little b*tch. He came off the field after every INT pointing fingers at the receivers. One time TJ had to walk a couple receivers away from Palko’s whining.
    I will continue to point out, how bad must Stanzi be to not be able to beat out that punk?
    I will say, Stanzi actually seemed a bit interested in the game for the first time last night. Of course that have been because Orton was talking to him a lot and leading him over to the sideline huddles.
    How could Pioli ever believe Palko/Stanzi were NFL QB’s??????

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