Oakland Raiders: Carson Palmer on Pace for Career Year
Jerry Rump – Oct 11, 2012
Oakland Raiders' quarterback, Carson Palmer, is on pace through four games this season to pass for more yardage than at any other time in his career. While most of the time this would be great news for a team, it signals a sign of the times for the Raiders.
Sitting with a 1-3 record and coming off a bye-week in which they face the undefeated Atlanta Falcons this Sunday, Oakland needs to find some sort of running game to bring some balance to the offense that is currently ranked the NFL’s worst in order to pull off a win.
The Raiders are currently the 25th ranked offense in the league and are a pathetic 30th in scoring offense. The aforementioned lack of a running game is why Oakland has Palmer attempting an average of 40 pass attempts per game this season. The offense, as a result, struggles in redzone possessions and is currently averaging a measly 16.8 points per game.
However, Palmer has been the one real consistent bright spot on offense. His stats have him going 99-162 with a completion percentage of 61.1. He averages 270 yards a game with 1,081 total passing yards and has a quarterback rating of 86 at the one quarter mark of the season. Even the touchdown to interception ratio is positive at 5-2 respectively.
Normally, a team with a quarterback posting these stats would be at worst 2-2, but outside of the Pittsburgh game in week 3, the offense has melted down and completely disappeared by the end of every other game at this point in the 2012 regular season.
The fact that the run game is completely nonexistent leaves defenses free to turn loose the dogs of war on Palmer and play nothing but blitz and prevent the deep ball types of defenses. This means, Palmer is picking up a lot of his completions underneath which in turn, results in a ton of 3 and outs.
Everyone in Raider nation is all too aware of the dismal state at which the Raiders’ run game currently resides, but may not be aware that Palmer’s numbers are comparable to the top ten quarterbacks in the league right now minus one thing, the lack of scoring. The Raiders’ are currently ranked 12th in the league in passing right now.
In contrast, the running game for the Silver and Black is dead last.
What makes this scenario even crazier to comprehend is how someone like New England’s RB, Stephen Ridley, has outgained Darren McFadden and how the Raiders have only 243 total yards rushing for the season!
It boggles the mind to actually consider the possibility of where the Raiders could be at this point with that rushing attack from the past two seasons combined with a 12th ranked passing game.
Anyways, Carson Palmer had his best season passing in 2007 when he threw for 4,131 yards accumulating 26 touchdowns and a quarterback passer rating of 86.7. The Bengals made the playoffs that year as well.
At his current pace he looks to eclipse that mark and put up closer to 4,400+ yards this season. That is of course, provided he makes it through the season in one piece. One more game like the Bronco fiasco in Week-4 with Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil pounding him nearly every down, could spell all she wrote for the Raiders’ starting quarterback for the 2012 NFL season.
In Atlanta this week, the Raiders must exhibit some balance on offense because the Falcons possess an extremely complex blitzing scheme under defensive coordinator, Mike Nolan and a running attack by Oakland can throw a monkey wrench into the Falcons’ defensive planning.
Remember just a couple weeks ago when Atlanta dismantled Denver in a Monday night game, there were times when they had nine and ten guys in the box on passing situations where the line ended up having no clue who was coming and who was dropping off in pass coverage. Peyton Manning as a result, ended up throwing 3 interceptions in the first quarter as the Dirty Birds went on to win 27-21.
A running attack can slow down this scheme and lead to the Raiders keeping their beleaguered defense off the field, limiting Atlanta’s offense from blowing this game out.
The Raiders have not defeated the Falcons since 2000 and lead the overall series 7-5 as this will mark only the third time the Raiders have played in the Georgia Dome.
For Oakland, it all revolves around them fielding some semblance of a running game or this one could be over quick. They cannot get into a passing war with the Dirty Birds.
Atlanta is red hot and possesses an extremely balanced offense behind the running game lead by runningback, Michael Turner, and the 7th ranked passing game that quarterback, Matt Ryan has put up.
If Oakland can put together a game like they had against Pittsburgh, where the offense actually posted 100+ yards on the ground, then Carson Palmer might be able to keep the game close and pull out another dramatic win. It’s not ever out of the question as in October and on any given Sunday, stranger things have happened.
The statistics may be good for Palmer, but as any true football fan could tell you, they don’t tell the whole story. The debacle in Denver was hopefully a huge wakeup call for the Raiders’ coaching staff and extra attention has been applied to shore up the blocking scheme they will look to employ against Atlanta on Sunday.
While we wait and pray for some sign that the coaching staff gets it and applies some twists to get the running game back on track, the bright spot that is Palmer and his passing game do deserve a lot of recognition.
Sure the stats show he has performed well for a team that has for all accounts imploded. The real aspect about his play has shown what I consider to be the most important part of the veteran’s game this season.
Throughout every game this year, he has played with pride and poise befitting a Raider. His leadership has shown up time and time again under circumstances that would have most of the league’s quarterbacks hanging it up and trying to save their proverbial skins, Palmer has hung in the pocket, took the hit, and tried to make a play.
He hasn’t thrown any players under the bus or really complained much at all about his plight. Continually, he has tried to rally the troops and coach up his young, depleted wide receiving corps. He has gotten the ball consistently to tight end, Brandon Myers, and his running backs, which has resulted in the former becoming a breakout budding star for the Raiders, and has the latter leading the league in receptions for their position.
So, as much as many would have loved nothing more than to throw him under the bus and complain about how he is the reason the Raiders are 1-3 and in dire trouble, they cannot utter a word. The play and stats from Palmer speak for themselves and proves the Carson haters were just bias and ranting without any common sense to justify their whining.
Regardless of what happens this week in the ATL, all I ask is give the guy some credit for doing his job and trying to help this team win.
Now let’s get geared back up Raider fans, let’s show we have regrouped after the bye and sail into Atlanta to show support for our beloved Oakland Raiders. We may be down, but we’re not out. This is the time to mount a comeback. A time to right what’s wrong and show the world what this squad is made of.
The true spirit of Raider nation needs to show up in full support this week as we mark the passing of the legendary Godfather, Al Davis this week, and just like it was a year ago, the Raiders go on the road to face one of the league’s best teams.
Let’s conjure up some that same mystique and determination only raider fans possess to never say die. The same type of resilience that saw the Raiders’ beat the Texans a year ago and ride that same Autumn Wind into Atlanta this weekend. Let’s do this one for Al and show the haters that we never surrender!
C’mon Raider nation, rally behind your team and shout our rally cry at the top of your lungs for the world to hear….
JUST WIN BABY!
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