Down 14-zip 12:30 into the 2nd Qtr with Oakland on the Saints' 2+yd line, Dennis Allen (who made a shrewd and successful challenge to a Brees deep "completion"), in Chip Kelly fashion, said, "Go for it" and Palmer forged ahead on a keeper and first down. Then, on 3rd down, after Reece was repelled,, Carson threw a perfect pass to Brandon Myers in the endzone... but Myers flubbed the ball which deflected to N.O. Palmer's earlier interception, again targeting #83, was on Palmer (though one wonders what might have happened if Myers moved towards the ball instead waiting passively).
Then the D held (again) and Marcel Reece caught Palmer's pass running another 35 yards for a 56 yard gain. A penalty for defensive jiu-jitsu perped on Denarius Moore took the ball inside the 5 where Palmer ran a play action bootleg and - a man of faith - gave Myers his chance for redemption - TD RAIDERS! 7 - 14 with 4 minutes left in the 2nd Half.
Oakland's Defense, which looked like hell in the 1st Qtr, stabilized in the 2nd. Standing up to N.O.s modest rushing attack but still unable to handle N.O.'s passing prowess. The Raider D (like Myers) offered propitious sacrifices - in the form of better tackling and pass rushing but still left receivers wide open.
Michael Huff gave up a bomb from Brees to Lance Moore with under a minute left in the half and 3rd and long. It was truly horrible. Earlier, Huff defended another Brees long ball that had TD written on it - but Huff spiked it harmlessly to the sodden turf. Mike Mitchell, who started for an injured Branch, covered well and more significantly, was invaluable in run support as N.O. moved with ease through the Raider line and into the 2nd row only to be slammed (and verbally abused) by The Missile.
The pass rush is improving with Desmond Bryant and LaMarr Houston savaging Brees but not able to overcome the Raiders' failures to hang with Saint receivers.
The Raiders have the worst 3rd Quarters in the league and there is reason to dread the next 15 minutes of play....