Bengals Move Onward — And Upward — Without Palmer

Posted by Dan Hoard on November 26, 2012 – 10:06 am

Maybe Bengals fans weren’t really booing Carson Palmer on Sunday.  Perhaps the sound that echoed throughout Paul Brown Stadium every time that the Raiders quarterback took the field was, “Thank yoooouuuu.”

Thanks for two AFC North titles.  Thanks for two Pro Bowl seasons.  And most of all, thanks for unintentionally helping the Bengals by leaving.

“Right now we’re a better team without him and that’s just point blank period,” said safety Chris Crocker.

Let’s consider where the Bengals are without Palmer.

Andy Dalton is seven years younger than his predecessor.  He’s scheduled to earn roughly $2.7 million dollars over the next two seasons while Palmer is set to make $28 million.  And following Sunday’s 34-10 win over the Raiders, Dalton’s career QB rating is identical to Palmer’s at 86.1.

“Andy’s played like a 10-year vet from the day that he stepped into this locker room,” said Crocker.

Additionally, Dalton’s regular season won/loss record as a starting quarterback is 15-13 (I give Dalton credit for a win in the Washington game when Mohamed Sanu officially started at QB).  Palmer’s record is 53-64, including 7-13 in Oakland.

The organization that Carson left is in the hunt to go the playoffs for the third time in four years, led by a defensive front four that pummeled him.  According to Brad Ellis, our stat man on the Bengals radio network, Cincinnati hit Palmer 13 times on Sunday.

“He didn’t have a chance,” said Crocker.  “Our guys up front really beat him up.  They hit him, they got around his feet, and it’s not easy to be a quarterback when you have to deal with that kind of duress.”

“Our front four is the best in the league,” said Manny Lawson.  “As a linebacker behind them, I’m rarely touched.”

The organization that Palmer currently plays for appears to be headed for its 8th double-digit loss season in the last 10 years.  Since their last playoff appearance following the 2002 season, the Raiders are 48-107 for a .310 winning percentage.  For sake of comparison, in the 1990s when the Bengals struggles were well-chronicled, their winning percentage was .327.

In exchange for Carson Palmer, the Bengals already have Dre Kirkpatrick and will receive Oakland’s second round pick in next year’s draft.  Through 11 games, the Raiders share the third-worst record in the NFL with Cleveland meaning it’s a decent bet that Cincinnati will end up with a selection near the top of the second round.

Here are a few of the players selected in the top five picks of the second round over the last five years:

Jordy Nelson, Brandon Flowers, Derek Wolfe, Colin Kaepernick, James Laurinatis, Courtney Upshaw, Brian Robiske, and Coby Fleener.

Oh yea, and Andy Dalton.

Palmer and Dalton had never talked to each other until Sunday.  Their first-ever conversation apparently did not last for very long.

“We talked for a little bit – nothing more than anybody else,” said Dalton.  “At least I can say that I’ve met him now.”

And outplayed him.

We all know that those “boos” weren’t really “thank yoooouuuus” on Sunday.  But maybe they’ve should have been.

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Hue keeps it light after his own reunion

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on November 26, 2012 – 8:30 am

Hue Jackson could have had a field day Sunday. Instead, he went on the field pregame at Paul Brown Stadium and chatted with any Raider that would have him and then watched his Bengals dismantle the team he took within five minutes of the playoffs last year.

After Sunday’s 34-10 victory over the team that fired him last year after one year as head coach, the Raiders look like they’re five minutes away from the second pick in the draft.

But Jackson kept it classy. After all, he’s reportedly already in the mix for the head coaching job at California. He knows people are going to say this was a sweet one for him.

“People will say this. I can look at it in my own mind and maybe felt that it was because I know those players and I’ve been in that organization with Coach (Al) Davis and the rest of the players and his son Mark (Davis),” he said after the game in the Bengals locker room. “But at the end of the day it was just another football game, a game we needed to win and I think our guys did a great job. Kudos to the offense, defense and special teams; it was a team win.”

Asked just exactly how good it felt, Jackson smiled.

“It does,” he said. “To win again and be 6-5 and going to San Diego, no question it does.”

Jackson said he had to separate the emotion from Sunday. It couldn’t be emotional, he said, even though those were his players out there and that was his quarterback he traded for with a first- and second-round pick that now, with the help of his firing, makes it one of the biggest steals in NFL history.

With Jackson molding him into his system on the fly last year, Palmer was 4-5 as the starter and if the Raiders held on to a fourth-quarter lead in the finale it would have been 5-5 and the playoffs. Now they’re 3-8.

“It couldn’t be (emotional),” Jackson said. “I think when I first start to see anybody, obviously a lot of old emotions and feelings come back and mainly what they were with Coach Davis. That’s a team that I know really well and I know the owner was someone that was very near and dear to me. Once we kick the ball off, it’s time to go play.”

Palmer hasn’t only been silent on his situation with the Bengals, but he hasn’t had much to say about Jackson in staying true to his desire to stay away from headlines and controversy.

The two did speak before and after Sunday’s game.

“I have a lot of respect for Carson. Carson’s a tremendous football player and that’s never going to change as far as I’m concerned,” Jackson said. “I wish him luck. I wanted to make sure him and his family are doing well and I’m sure we’ll run into each other somewhere down the line.”

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