Raiders

Raiders notes: Palmer's prolific passing

944721.jpg

Raiders notes: Palmer's prolific passing

Programming note: Tune in to Raiders Press Conference Live to hear from head coach Dennis Allen, today at 1 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California!

OAKLAND -- With 312 yards passing against New Orleans on Sunday, Carson Palmer became the first Raiders quarterback since 2005 to throw for at least 3,000 yards in a season.Through 10 games, Palmer has 3,035 yards passing, the quickest in his 10-year career he has reached the 3,000-yard plateau, and it leads the AFC. The last Raiders quarterback to throw for 3,000 yards was Kerry Collins, who had 3,759 yards in Norv Turner's second and final year as Raiders coach.RELATED: Carson Palmer career stats 2012 game logs
Palmer, though, also had a pair of costly interceptions in the Raiders' 38-17 loss, a pick-6 and one in the end zone that bounded off Brandon Myers' hands."We just couldnt keep up," Palmer said. They scored pretty quickly and we tried to stick with the run game and we did and we were doing a good job, and with our fullback playing tailback to run the ball we did in the first half was really, really good to see, to see the way we moved the line of scrimmage with our offensive line."But when it came down to it, we got beat by a better team today."It also marked the first time in Palmer's career he had three straight 300-plus yard passing games and it extended his franchise record for 200-yard passing games to 16.Marcel Reece's 193 yards from scrimmage were most by a Raiders player since Michael Bush had 242 yards last season at San Diego. Reece has also set single-season bests for receptions (37), receiving yards (418) and rushing yards (151).Sebastian Janikowski's 40-yard field goal was his 49th consecutive made attempts from 40 yards or less, dating back to Sept. 26, 2010, when he missed a 32-yarder that would have beaten Arizona.Shane Lechler has now appeared in 200 games, five shy of Dave Dalby (1972-85) for seventh on the Raiders' career games-played list.Right tackle Khalif Barnes played for the first time since suffering a groin injury at Miami in Week 2."There was a little bit of rust," he said, "but I shook it off, I think, during practice. I still had some rusty things going on out there but, for the most part, overall I was pleased."I didn't give up any sacks to them so, all in all, I feel pretty good about that. I'm just bummed overall about the whole (game) situation."

Inactives: Raiders without two inside linebackers, Bowman suiting up

lee-ap.jpg
AP

Inactives: Raiders without two inside linebackers, Bowman suiting up

The Raiders are aiming to snap a four-game losing streak as they take on the first-place Chiefs Thursday night under the lights in Oakland. And they will be thin in the middle of their defense. 

Cory James and Marquel Lee are both inactive, but a well-known new face is ready to go.

Oakland will turn to veteran NaVorro Bowman, along with two undrafted rookies, Woodson Luster and Nicholas Morrow, to man the middle. 

The following players have been ruled out tonight vs. the Chiefs: 

Cornerback Gareon Conley

Quarterback Connor Cook

Linebacker Cory James

Linebacker Marquel Lee

Tackle Marshall Newhouse

Defensive End Jihad Ward

Tackle Jylan Ware

Role reversal? Alex Smith currently more of a gunslinger than Derek Carr

smith-carr-ap.jpg
AP

Role reversal? Alex Smith currently more of a gunslinger than Derek Carr

OAKLAND -- Derek Carr is going through a rough patch. The beloved Raiders quarterback is being criticized for his part in this prolonged losing skid, a rarity since his rookie year.

Carr is supposedly playing it safe, getting rid of the ball quick, throwing short and avoiding potentially risky deep shots downfield.

That doesn’t sound like someone who wears No. 4 as homage to Brett Favre. Alex Smith comes to mind instead.

The Kansas City signal caller is notoriously known as a game manager, a cautious leader who rarely lets it rip.

Not this year. The former 49ers No. 1 overall pick is killing it in K.C., with career highs in completion percentage, yards per attempt and passer rating. The early MVP candidate has 12 touchdowns and no picks despite the fact he’s throwing deep more than ever.

Now that sounds like the Derek Carr we knew last year.

These quarterbacks seem to have reversed roles heading into Thursday’s clash between AFC West rivals. The Raiders are 2-4 and in desperate need of win against the AFC West-leading Chiefs.

Smith and Carr can be truly dynamic downfield. Only one guy’s found that rhythm lately.

That’s crystal clear when examining their deep throws.

Nobody’s better going yard this year than Smith, per analytics site Pro Football Focus – wrap your head around that – who is 13-of-23 for 526 yards, 4 touchdowns and no interceptions on throws beyond 20 yards in the air. Carr is 17th, completing 3-of-10 deep shots – no starter has fewer attempts -- for 109 yards, three touchdowns and a pick.

Last year, Carr ranked fifth in passes over 20 yards in the air, again, using PFF stats, with a 46-percent completion rate, 858 yards and a 117.6 passer rating. Smith was 20th in that category, completing less than a third of his attempt with a 72.8 passer rating.

The Raiders certainly want to push the ball downfield more. Carr has but four explosive plays in nearly three games of the Raiders’ four game losing streak – he missed the Baltimore loss with a fractured in his back – and hasn’t worked short passes consistently enough to score often.

“We definitely want to be able to (create explosive plays),” Carr said. “Now does that mean we’re going to do anything differently or trying to force things? Absolutely not. That’s where you get in trouble. That’s something that I’ve learned in my career. You can’t force it. You just have to work hard and let it happen.”

Some think Smith is letting it fly with a stoked competitive fire because the Chiefs traded up to draft Patrick Mahomes. Kansas City head coach Andy Reid believes a strong supporting cast led by Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and rookie running back Kareem Hunt allows him to do big things Carr typically does.

There is, however, one constant heading into Thursday’s matchup. Smith has owned the Raiders. The Chiefs have had Carr’s number.

Smith is 9-1 against Oakland. Carr’s 1-5 against K.C.

Smith has 8.3 yards per attempt, 19 touchdowns and just four picks against the Raiders. Carr averages 4.92 yards per attempt, six touchdowns and five interceptions versus the Chiefs.

“These are big games in the division,” Smith said. “You know they’re going to be four quarters. You know they’re going to come down to the end. You just try to go out there every single play and execute. They’re all hard fought and have been close.”

Carr knows Kansas City stands in the way of his ultimate goals. This year, he has to get past them to get the Raiders back on track. That won’t be easy.

“They do a good job of rushing the passer. They do a good job of stopping the run. They do a good job on the coverage end,” Carr said. “They’re sound. They’re really well-coached. (Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton) is a great coach. All the respect for him. So much respect that he even texted me when I got hurt last year. He’s just a good dude. But this week I don’t like him too much. He does a really good job of making sure everyone is locked in. They’re really smart. They’re really smart players. They don’t do a lot so they can see route concepts. They can visualize things and get used to seeing those kind of things.”