Palmer needs big day to stop the bleeding

Published: Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 8C
Last Modified: Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 - 7:55 am

ALAMEDA – Carson Palmer knows he will have to have a big day to get the Raiders back on the winning track.

With a defense that has allowed 97 points the past two weeks, a running game decimated by injuries and the high-powered New Orleans Saints offense led by Drew Brees coming to town, the Raiders (3-6) will be counting on Palmer even more than usual.

"Being a quarterback you don't want to think that," Palmer said Wednesday. "You still want to go through your reads. Sometimes a sack is the best play, sometimes a punt is the best play. But you can't do it too many times against these guys."

Palmer has carried a heavy burden in his first full season as Raiders quarterback, throwing the second-most passes in the league so far with 375 – 13 behind Detroit's Matthew Stafford. Palmer has thrown for 782 yards the past two weeks and is looking to put together three straight 300-yard games for the first time in his career.

He's on pace to set the Raiders' record for yards passing in a season, averaging more than 300 per game so far.

The only team that has passed the ball a higher percentage of time this season than Oakland is New Orleans.

Part of that has to do with the fact that both Oakland and New Orleans have two of the worst defenses in the league. The Saints have allowed the most yards per game in the NFL, giving up more than 400 every week.

Oakland has allowed 97 points the past two weeks – the most for the franchise since 1961 – and is allowing more than 30 points per game.

Making the task even harder for the Raiders is they may have to do it essentially without much of a running game.

Starter Darren McFadden and backup Mike Goodson remain sidelined by sprained right ankles that forced them to leave early Nov. 4 against Tampa Bay.

Notes: The Raiders signed LB Omar Gaither and placed linebacker Travis Goethel on season-ending injured reserve with a torn ACL in his left knee. … RT Khalif Barnes took the majority of first-team snaps in practice and is set to return from a groin injury that sidelined him Sept. 16. … WR Darrius Heyward-Bey tweaked his hamstring in practice and was limited. … DT Richard Seymour remained sidelined with an injured knee and hamstring. … SS Tyvon Branch (neck) and FS Matt Giordano (concussion) did not practice.

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