There was a lot of support for both players representing the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals. Here is a sample of responses from our division inbox and AFC North Twitter page along with a final say on the matter:
PalmerKen from Long Beach, Calif., writes: Carson and it is not even close. Not too long ago Carson's name was thrown around with the elites. If it was not for the 2005 playoff injury he may have started up right where he left off. Carson has shown he can produce when he has weapons around him and he is coming into training camp healthy. I think we are going to see a resurgence from him.
Nick from Harrison, Ohio, writes: I would go with Palmer on this one. Flacco and Palmer can make all the throws and are tied with arm strength but Palmer is more accurate. And let's not forget he was a Pro Bowl MVP and shown when given the weapons to be an elite quarterback. He also delivers at the end of the game, for example his game-winning touchdowns against the Steelers and Ravens in the fourth quarter last year.
Jamie from West Chester, Ohio, writes: Palmer without a doubt! CP has the better skill-set, the better arm, a better touch, and the better head for the game. Joe is certainly no slouch, but I don't think JF on his best day is in the top 5 in the league like CP is. For years, a successful Ravens team is one where they ask the QB simply not to screw up (Trent Dilfer). In Cincy, they live and die with the quality of the QB play.
David from Delmar, Md., writes: This is a tough one. It is best to analyze this in terms of experience. Carson Palmer is much more experienced than Joe Flacco, however Joe has had much success in his two seasons. I believe Palmer is the better quarterback right now. But ask me the same question in three years and I will say Flacco has the edge.
Paxton Boyd via Twitter writes: Palmer. Much better in clutch. Sacrificed his stats last year for a stronger running game, won games w/his arm when had to.
Adam Lawson from Dayton, Ohio, writes: Are you serious? Not even close, Carson Palmer is the better quarterback. Flacco isn't even the best player on his own team or offense. Come on now, you can come up with a better "Take your pick" than this?
Red McDaniel from Versailles, Ky., writes: Carson Palmer hands down! Carson should be placed up there in the top five QBs. With the lack of weapons and protection, he hasn't gotten to prove he is just as good, if not better, than Manning or Brady. But those times are changing so he should be able to put up big numbers to prove he has the talent to be characterized as an elite QB. Also he has shown he can play in clutch situations, and Joe "Fake" Flacco has shown he can't handle those clutch situations.
FlaccoCooper from Baltimore writes: Die hard Ravens fan, but believe it or not this is unbiased. You have to take Flacco here. If it was the 2005 Carson Palmer, that's a different story, even though Flacco still makes a case against him then. Flacco has led the Ravens to the postseason twice, getting three wins. Palmer has led his team twice since coming in eight years ago. Wins? Zero. Flacco had slightly better numbers than Palmer, and that was with an inconsistent offense. Also, a big reason is injuries, Palmer is always hurt every season. Palmer also has a tendency to sail passes and leave his receivers out to dry.
Paul Salyards from Cleveland writes: Have to go with Flacco. Palmer can get his team to the playoffs but never wins. Flacco as a rookie had a great run and last year beat the Pats in New England. Also, Palmer has had much better receivers in the past and yet Flacco has performed better with less.
Shawn from Provo, Utah, writes: I would have to take Flacco for two reasons. No. 1 is obviously age, Flacco has seen more success in a shorter period of time than Palmer and No. 2 would be playoff wins. Carson has yet to prove himself in the playoffs. Granted Flacco hasn't been a phenom in his playoff games either but it all comes down to winning in the NFL, and so far Flacco had proven that he can do it more consistently when it counts than Carson.
Tyler from Bel Air, Md., writes: Bottom line, Flacco will be a better quarterback. Carson is already at his peak, while Flacco is still maturing. Also keep in mind statistically Flacco did better last year and that was with the injured hip that plagued him at the end of the season.
BornReadyyy via Twitter writes: Definitely Flacco! He's younger, won more playoff games w/less talent at receiver, more durable and still hasn't reached full potential.
Steve from Loveland, Ohio, writes: As a Bengals fan I hate to say it, but at this point I give a slight edge to Flacco. At 25, Flacco's shown that he's still a rising star. He'll arguably have more weapons around him than in years past. This should be a good year for him. Though he's pretty much owned the Ravens head-to-head, at age 30, Palmer's had good years in '05 and '06 but otherwise been mediocre. Couple that with an 0-2 playoff record and Carson needs a strong 2010 season and playoff push to best Flacco. Hopefully his new weapons will help.
Josh Hullen from Philadelphia, Pa., writes: It's obviously Flacco. Not only has he taken the Ravens to back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time in a long time but he is not yet in his prime. He has the potential to be an all time great. It is a matter of putting in the hard work and executing on the field. I do not want to take anything away from Palmer. He is a very good QB. He has been successful despite being on a mediocre offense for years but his time window for success is closing. Flacco's is just now opening. I think this year is the one Flacco enters the truly elite realm of QBs. If he manages to take the Ravens to the playoffs three years running, there is no doubt in my mind who the better QB is.
AFC North final say
James Walker: Thanks for the tremendous response. I think both quarterbacks are very good. But for my answer, simply click on Walker's Fab 40 for 2010 and see which quarterback I rated higher.