Carson Palmer: Starting QB Means Oakland Raiders Must Pound Chiefs in Run Game

Carson Palmer is expected to start for the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

Prior to becoming a Raider, Palmer—like the rest of us—believed he was retired.

Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown made it abundantly clear he was not going to trade the want-away quarterback for any price.

Until the Raiders came calling, of course.

The Raiders parted with (at least) this year's first-round pick and next year's second-round pick. Should he lead the Raiders to the AFC title game, then the second-round pick becomes a first-round pick.

All in all, the Raiders paid a hefty price to land the former No. 1 overall pick out of USC.

But to them, it was all worth it, and they don't want to waste any time or games before getting him in the lineup.

Oakland is not only in the thick of the AFC Wild Card race, but they have a clear shot at their division as well.

That is why this home game against the Chiefs is so important. And it is also why the Raiders will need to lean on former first-round pick Darren McFadden and the offensive line to do as much as possible for Palmer.

Kansas City has won two straight games after opening the season 0-3. Quarterback Matt Cassel seems to have found his stride. And despite injuries to several key players including running back Jamaal Charles and safety Eric Berry, the Chiefs have gotten better (although they couldn't have been much worse).

But the Raiders, who average 160 yards per game on the ground, will need all of that and then some on Sunday.

Records and stats hardly matter in division games, and the Chiefs and everyone else know that Palmer has been out of football for some time.

Practicing and throwing and learning the plays is one thing—taking that first hit in a live NFL game is another.

Kansas City isn't very good against the run, either.

They give up an a...

About the Author