There has been much debate all year amongst Raiders fans on how much Carson Palmer means to the Raiders. Well we definitely got an answer this Sunday. A lot!
Without Palmer in the game after his injury on the second Raiders possession of the game Oakland could do zilch with the ball. The Raiders defense took the loss of Palmer personally too which shows just how much his teammates care about him. Yes, after this game I have no doubt how much Carson means to the Raiders anymore.
I am a little annoyed that when Palmer went don that it was Matt Leinart that went in over Terrelle Pryor. Its one thing to put Matt in if the Raiders still had anything but pride to play for, but they don't. It'd be another thing if Matt was moving the ball around, but he wasn't. Dennis Allen should've coached this game like he had nothing to lose, and that includes giving Pryor enough playing time to see what he could've done.
There is no doubt that the Raiders are still playing hard for their coach though. The defense specifically played with a lot of passion and grit in this game. I think the defense has played very well the last few weeks.
The defense has played well enough recently in fact that Jason Tarver has my full support to come back next year. His scheme has taken a long time to be implemented but now that it has I think we should stick with him. He is very young and had some rookie issues as a first year DC but I really believe that his defense can now really move forward behind him.
Losing Palmer so early in this game may have been a bit of a blessing in the long run. I say that because of the draft position. I wanted them to win this game badly so I'm disappointed but winning could have really dropped the Raiders in the draft. I am glad they tried to win and didn't roll over but the higher draft position from this loss doesn't hurt.
I really wanted to wake up and write a fun and happy article here on Christmas Eve but it wasn't meant to be. The Raiders have a ton of work in the off-season to do but anything can happen in the NFL year in and out. Hopefully this season was the one step back to take two steps forward. Its hard for all of us when the Raiders keep losing like they have over the past decade but keep the faith and keep the love for Raider Nation always. Merry Christmas!