Why Oakland Raiders Only Have Themselves to Blame for Carson Palmer’s Struggles

Carson Palmer has just completed his 16th game—otherwise known as a full NFL regular season—as the Oakland Raiders’ quarterback. Oakland’s 6-10 record in those games with the underwhelming Palmer is the result of a telegraphed setback for the organization, which gave up a king’s ransom for a 31-year-old quarterback in 2011.

Palmer has completed 347 of 569 (60.1 percent) passes for 4,485 yards, 20 touchdowns and 20 interceptions with Oakland. The mildly-impressive yardage is, of course, a product of playing from behind so often.

He’s averaging 251.3 yards per win and 297.7 yards per loss—which includes a 116-yard effort in 2011 in surprise duty against the Kansas City Chiefs—as a Raider.

It is no surprise that Palmer has not been a game-breaking player for Oakland; he hasn’t led an efficient, high-flying offense in years.

His best seasons in terms of touchdown-to-interception ratio were easily 2005 and 2006. In those years, he threw for 60 touchdowns and 25 picks. All of his other seasons (one before and six since) creep much closer to the alarming one-to-one ratio: 114 touchdowns and 95 interceptions.

His time in Oakland has been spent with a perpetually-injured receiving corps. Conversely, his time with the Cincinnati Bengals was spent with versions of Chad Johnson (pre-Ochocinco) and T.J. Houshmandzadeh that would have had no problems finding work for an NFL ball club.

These were signs that Palmer might not have led a team to the Super Bowl in 2011, 2012 or beyond.

Signing him to a large free-agent contract would have been one thing. Trading two early draft picks for him is completely different; that’s where the front office really made its mistake.

Instead of drafting some help for Jason Campbell or Kyle Boller—or selecting their replacements since they, incidentally, are no longer ...

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