Carson Palmer Needs to Take More Risks for the Oakland Raiders to Win
Elias Trejo – Sep 19, 2012
We all heard the same things last year about Carson Palmer. He takes too many risks, makes too many bad throws, and caused the Raiders to lose too many games. If you look at the Raiders season last year they were a few games away from making the playoffs. Palmer was not the reason Oakland didn't make the playoffs last year. The defense and lack of discipline had a bigger hand in the Raiders failure to make the playoffs.
This year Palmer has been playing it safe and his only interception came late in a game after the game was already lost. Oakland is 0-2 and if they want to turn things around Palmer will need to start taking more risks. It appears as if Palmer and the offensive coordinator heard plenty about his interceptions last year as they have found ways to reduce Oakland's interceptions. That all sounds great, but they've also found a way to reduce the Raiders big plays. Palmer is gaining big yardage through the air, but most of them are short passes. There aren't too many risks being taken right now and that is a concern considering they've averaged 47 pass attempts per game.
Oakland has had 34 rush attempts compared to 94 pass attempts so far this season. For Oakland to win they need to have more balance, but they also need Palmer to let it rip. Palmer is a quarterback similar to Brett Favre and Tony Romo. You know he's prone to throw a few interceptions and make some bad decisions, but you take that because you also know he's capable of making big plays with his arm. Palmer looks very hesitant to take shots down the field and perhaps its because his receiving group hasn't been consistent all off season.
Darrius Heyward-Bey and rookie Rod Streater have been the only two receivers to have participated in the majority of the off season. Denarius Moore missed a lot of time with a hamstring injury, Jacoby Ford was injured and will now miss the rest of the season, and Derek Hagan was brought in about two weeks ago. Regardless of all of these changes Palmer is going to have to start taking more risks and keeping the defense honest against the run.
Whenever the run game gets going it will help the passing game out a lot, but right now Oakland needs the passing game to open up the running game. Palmer is doing a fine job at gaining yards through the air as he has the third most passing yards in the league, but the problem lies with his lack of touchdown passes. He is tied for 23rd in the league with two touchdown passes.
One of the more concerning stats for Palmer is how much he is having to throw the ball. Only the New Orleans Saints have thrown the ball more times than the Raiders. Over half of Oakland's pass attempts are coming in the first half, which means the run game is ineffective and the pressure in on the passing game. Palmer cannot play with a fear of making mistakes and has to not worry about what is being said outside of the organization. He had several interceptions during the preseason as he took a few risks, but we haven't seen too many attempts at deep passes so far this year.
Palmer is doing a solid job so far this year and those blaming him for our issues need to watch the games again, because he needs more than 40 rushing yards per game to get the offense moving. Something has to give here for Oakland. The running game needs to come alive to allow Palmer to throw deep with some play action passes, or Palmer is just going to have to take more shots down the field.
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