By the time Carson Palmer entered the game, the Raiders already were down 21-0. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
The Kansas Chiefs hit the Pick Six Sunday at O.co Coliseum on a day when two things were crystal clear:
First, all those who said Kyle Boller isn’t adequate to lead the Oakland Raiders to the playoffs, take a bow.
And second, all those who said it would be folly to throw Carson Palmer onto the field just days after his acquisition in a trade, also take a bow.
Turns out both were right. But two rights made for a very wrong result for the Raiders, as the Chiefs intercepted six passes – returning two for touchdowns – in a 28-0 victory over the Raiders.
As ESPN’s Bill Williamson wrote after Sunday’s game: “Both quarterbacks were dreadful.”
A week after losing starting quarterback Jason Campbell to a broken collarbone, perhaps it wouldn’t have mattered who started in his place Sunday.
The Raiders entered the game without kicker Sebastian Janikowski, then lost Darren McFadden, the NFL’s leading rusher, to an undisclosed foot injury after just two carries.
Boller started the game and was just 7-of-14 for 61 yards, and became the first Raiders quarterback in 13 years (Donald Hollas in 1998) to throw three first-half interceptions. Kendrick Lewis returned his first pick 59 yards to give K.C. a 7-0 lead.
Palmer entered with 10:25 remaining in the third quarter and Oakland trailing 21-0 and showed his rust. He and his receivers seemed out of sync, and he completed just 8-of-21 passes for 116 yards. Brandon Lewis returned one of his throws 58 yards in the fourth quarter for the game’s final score.
The Raiders now go into their bye week 4-3, having their two-game win streak snapped. It also was the first time in nine games against AFC West teams that Oakland has lost.
But, now Palmer will have almost two weeks to work out his kinks, get used to the playbook and his receivers for a Nov. 6 home game against the Broncos and Tim Tebow, who pulled out an overtime win Sunday.
The AFC West race, too, suddenly seems tighter, with the Chargers at 4-2, the Raiders at 4-3 and the Chiefs and Broncos at 2-4.