Palmer has a downright Plunkett-onian afternoon

October 22, 2012, 3:12 am
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OAKLAND -- Standing tall in the pocket, holding onto the ball until the last possible moment before throwing it downfield and absorbing brutal hit after brutal hit, Carson Palmer struck a familiar pose on Sunday.And the less-than-photogenic manner in which Palmer led the Raiders to their 26-23 overtime victory over Jacksonville was the same.Indeed, Palmer, whose forehead was scratched and bruised, had a downright Plunkett-onian game for the Raiders."An ugly win is better than a pretty loss," Palmer said, and could almost hear Jim Plunkett saying the same thing because, really, the two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback has essentially said the same thing.Or, at least, that's what Al Davis used to tell Plunkett.But Davis has been gone for more than a year and Palmer, acquired in that massive deal with Cincinnati in the wake of Davis' death last October, is no doubt earning the trust, respect and admiration of his teammates with every passing game. Every passing hit. Every big play after ever seemingly just-as-big miscue."That's what the good ones do," said coach Dennis Allen. "He was able to stay in there and continue to complete. He made enough plays to give us a chance to win the game."And he did it by sparking the stuck-in-the-mud offense in calling his own plays while running the Raiders' no-huddle offense in the second half."That's a big weapon," said rookie receiver Rod Streater, who had a huge 18-yard reception down the left sideline late in the fourth quarter and during the Raiders' game-tying drive."He has a lot of experience running the show."Consider: at halftime, the Raiders had just 127 yards of total offense against the decrepit Jaguars, with 106 coming through the air, and a mere four first downs.Even Plunkett's former Raiders coach, Tom Flores, admitted on the radio broadcast he felt like falling asleep in the first half. That's how boring it was for Oakland.But then the Raiders finished with 351 total yards, and 20 first downs.RELATED: Box score -- Raiders 26, Jaguars 23
Palmer's passer rating might have been an unsightly 74.4, with 298 yards on 26 of 46 passing with a touchdown and interception. But the only stat that mattered was the "W," so to speak."I've played this game long enough to know that just finding a way to get a win against a desperate team(I'm) just proud of the game we fought. Because it wasn't pretty (and) we did not play up to our standard or play the way that we were coachedbut guys hung in there."Palmer, with a major assist from the defense, rallied the Raiders back from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit, just as he had in their victory over Pittsburgh last month.Of course, a pair of Palmer miscues -- an interception of a tipped Palmer pass and a fumble on a strip sack -- had led directly to six points for the Jaguars.Again, cue the comparisons to Plunkett, who also won a Heisman Trophy for a California school and was a No. 1 overall pick and oftentimes took fantastic beatings in winning NFL affairs.So if the no-huddle has had success against the Steelers, Atlanta and Jaguars, why not implement it more often?"It works sometime and it doesn't work sometimes," Palmer said. "It's not like you can just put it in and it's going to work automatically."It's a curveball."Kind of like Palmer leading the comeback victory. Not too many people saw it coming except, maybe, Plunkett himself.