In the very, very early stages of the Carson Palmer era, the Oakland Raiders appear to be significant losers of a trade that saw two early draft picks go to Cincinnati in exchange for Palmer’s services.
Palmer completed just eight of 21 passes for 116 yards and tossed three interceptions in less than a half of football, as the Raiders were crushed at home by division rival Kansas City. If you’re a Raiders fan, that’s painful.
But it’s too early to panic.
Palmer has been a Raider for five days. Regardless of how similar Oakland’s offense is to the one Palmer operated in Cincy, the guy hadn’t thrown an NFL pass in 10 months. There’s a reason Hue Jackson and Co. went with Kyle Boller as the starter today, and it’s now evident why Jackson let Boller stay in the game despite three picks in the first half.
The Raiders stuck with Boller as long as humanly possible before finally realizing that they weren’t going to be able to win despite his presence, giving an under-prepared 31-year-old Palmer a shot in the third quarter. You get the feeling they knew it would be ugly.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the preseason, and there is no time for growing pains and acclimation. Oakland lost a big game to a rival on Sunday, missing a big opportunity to get a jump on the AFC West favorite, San Diego. Now, the Chargers, Raiders, Chiefs and Broncos are bunched within two games of each other.
The good news is that Palmer will have a chance to make some major strides and get used to his teammates over the next two weeks before the Raiders play their next game, which is against the Broncos in Week 9. The bad news is that Denver has found some spunk with Tim Tebow under center, and they follow that game up with a toughie in San Diego on short rest (Thursday Night Football).
The Palmer trade has been called a potential win-win (by us), but it’s also been likened to the “great train robbery” that was that infamously lopsided Hershel Walker trade of 1989. It’s very early, and it’s by no means time to panic, but the initial return indicates that it’s closer to the latter than the former.