The Oakland Raiders travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals Sunday afternoon. The Raiders are looking to end a three game skid, and stop the internal bleeding (and hemorrhaging) for the Raiders and Raider Nation.
The presumed headline in today’s game would be Raiders QB Carson Palmer’s return to Cincy after leaving in a tumultuous manner last year. But with the Bengals second year quarterback, Andy Dalton, turning things around for the organization, and the Raiders coming into the game with a record of 3-7, there’s not any real big hype surrounding today’s game.
Whether or not Palmer would love to defeat his old team in the worst way, he knows his current employer needs this game more from a morale standpoint.
“It’s a big game,” said Palmer. “We have to get a win. We’re going to fight, we’re going to grind this week. We have a lot of room for improvement, a lot of areas we need to improve on.”
The main area the Raiders need to improve on is defense, as they are now ranked last in the NFL allowing 32.2 points per game, thanks to a three game losing streak in which they were outscored 135-69. Head coach Dennis Allen, and defensive coordinator Jason Tarver, have to dial up a defensive scheme that can restore some confidence in this defensive group.
Offensively, without possibly having Darren McFadden for a third straight game, the offense clearly rests on Palmer. And with no possible running game, it will be hard to control the time of possession when you’re throwing the ball more than running the ball. I expect Palmer to have a big game against his former team, mainly because he has been consistent statistics-wise (passing yards) for most of the season.
Will he lead touchdown scoring drives early in the game, and will the defense actually get off the field on third down, are the biggest questions for the Raiders today? I know Raider Nation is thrown off by the start time, but can deal with it as long as the Silver and Black manage to get a much needed win.
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Written by Arthur Kai