Following their Week 7 destruction at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs, it was very clear that the Oakland Raiders needed a bye week. Six interceptions is not acceptable for any team in any game, unless your name is Jay Cutler and you play in the Mike Martz offense. Well, neither Kyle Boller nor Carson Palmer are named Jay Cutler - and had either of them been playing in the Martz offense during that game, it would have been even uglier than it was.
Boller clearly cannot continue to be the guy that leads the Raiders on gameday, and Palmer was just a few days removed from sitting on his couch eating cheesy poofs and not working out at all. The team traded for Palmer at the NFL trade deadline and he clearly wasn't ready to play when he came in for "relief" of Boller. Palmer threw three interceptions, no touchdowns, and had 116 yards. The Raiders offense scored no points and really only kept moving because of Michael Bush and his 99 yards on the ground.
Palmer reportedly only knew fifteen plays going into the game against the rival Chiefs. In short, it was all bad news.
Now they're looking to get back to their winning ways and regain some ground in the AFC West as they host the rival Denver Broncos and Tim Tebow. Tebow underwhelmed in his last outing, a rather pathetic loss (slaughter) at the hands of the Detroit Lions. His comeback heroics against the Miami Dolphins are overstated - simply because they are the Miami Dolphins.
Anything coming out of Denver right now is going to center on Tebow. The significance of this is that Oakland and Denver are both putting out different starting quarterbacks than they did when the two teams met in week one. Kyle Orton started that game for Denver and threw for 300 yards, and another player who will be missing is Brandon Lloyd, who had 89 yards receiving and was traded to the St. Louis Rams at the trade deadline.
One constant from that game, though, is running back Darren McFadden. He had 22 carries for a very stellar 150 yards and was the main reason the Raiders ultimately walked away with a 23-20 win. At least, McFadden should remain a constant, but after leaving the Kansas City game with a foot injury, his status on Sunday against Denver is up in the air.
Either way, this game will be interesting on so many levels, from McFadden to Tebow, to Palmer getting a bye week of preparation. There's also news about the Raiders signing Lito Sheppard and working out T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who played with Palmer in Cincinnati. Stay tuned to the story stream throughout the week for more news and preview material. The game is set for Sunday at 1:00 p.m. pacific.