It couldn’t have been the debut Carson Palmer envisioned, stepping onto the field for the first time as a Raider trailing Kansas City 21-0 in the third quarter on Oct. 23.
But that situation — perhaps like his arm that day — was out of his control.
Now, seven weeks removed from his performance against the Chiefs, in which Palmer completed eight of 21 passes for 116 yards while being picked three times, the 2002 Heisman Trophy winner seemingly remains a passing enigma.
When he has won, and sometimes lost, Palmer has demonstrated moments of quarterbacking brilliance, occasionally dissecting defenses. But all too often are those moments overshadowed by errant throws and poor decision-making, which oftentimes result in costly interceptions.
Last Sunday, against the thus-far-perfect Packers, was full of moments consisting of the latter.
“Their offense is designed to score a lot of points and their defense is designed to make turnovers,” Palmer said of Green Bay.
Palmer, despite throwing for 245 yards and one touchdown, was picked four times.
“I did not play well enough to give us a chance to win,” he said.
Despite not taking a snap until Week 7, Palmer has already tallied 13 interceptions on the season while throwing just nine touchdowns.
After three straight wins against San Diego, Minnesota and Chicago, two of which were without injured receivers Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore, Palmer seemingly silenced any doubters. But after consecutive blowout losses to Miami and Green Bay, the questions of Palmer’s ability to get it done seem to be re-emerging.
Still, coach Hue Jackson believes Palmer is doing a “fabulous job.”
“When you’re blessed with a right arm like he has, you try to make some plays sometimes that are not there,” Jackson said. “The problem is when you get opportunities, sometimes you just have to say ‘uncle’ in this league … whether you throw it away or take a sack, and sometimes that is hard when you are as competitive as he is because you are so used to winning and making things happen with your right arm.”
Lions (8-5) vs. Raiders (7-6)
WHEN: Sunday, 1:05 p.m.
WHERE: O.co Coliseum, Oakland
TV: Fox (KTVU, Ch. 2)
RADIO: KITS (105.3 FM), KFRC (1550 AM)