If you ask me, the Bengals’ young QB is leading a charmed life. For one thing, he doesn’t have to practice against USC’s defense early in the week. However, the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Mark Curnutte and his expert panel would beg to differ.

Carson Palmer is aiming for a piece of NFL history today when the Bengals face Pittsburgh. Making just his 20th pro start, Palmer could set a league record with his 10th straight passer rating of 100.0-plus.

His opposition is the last defense to hold him under 100.0. The Steelers limited Palmer to an 82.9 rating Nov. 21. In the nine games since, Palmer has a composite 114.4 rating with 22 touchdown passes and just seven interceptions. And the Bengals are 7-2.

In the process, Palmer has wowed several quarterbacks (and one running back) who played in the NFL before him and now make their livings analyzing pro football.

“How much more improvement do people want?” asked Boomer Esiason, the last great Bengals quarterback and an analyst on CBS’ “NFL Today.” “That 9-for-9 two-minute drill (at Tennessee) was perfect quarterback play.”

“Palmer is my MVP,” said Sean Salisbury, an ESPN analyst and former Vikings quarterback. “LaDainian Tomlinson is a close second, but Palmer gets my vote.”

Said Merill Hoge, the former Steelers and Bears fullback who now works for ESPN: “Right now, Carson Palmer is the best quarterback in football.”