Raiders key matchup No. 2: Palmer vs. Brees

Raiders key matchup No. 2: Palmer vs. Brees
November 17, 2012, 5:16 pm
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EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the second part in a series that spotlights three Raiders-Saints matchups to watch Sunday, 1:05 p.m. (Fox), at O.co ColiseumRaiders QB Carson Palmer vs. Saints QB Drew BreesTale of the tape
Palmer (3): 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, 10th season, USC
Brees (9): 6-foot, 209 pounds, 12th season, PurdueALAMEDA -- OK, so, technically,Carson PalmerandDrew Breeswill not got head-to-head on the field Sunday, but with each team being less than imposing on defense, no one would be shocked if the quarterbacks engaged in an old-fashioned shootout.
Consider: Brees is leading the NFL in passing yardage, with 2,847 yards; Palmer is third, with 2,723 yards.
TheRaiders, who have surrendered a combined 97 points the last two times they've taken the field, have the No. 24-ranked pass defense in the NFL. TheSaints, who started out 0-4 and under the shame of the "Bountygate" scandal, are ranked 31st against the pass.
And yet
"I would say, in large part, this Raider defense has played very well this season," Brees said in a conference call with Bay Area reporters this week. "Obviously, theyve had a tough two games, these last two, but I think theres also probably a unique set of circumstances, especially with this last game.
"The team that were going to face is not the team that gave up 55 points last week or 42 points against Tampa. Really, I feel like their defense played very well against the Bucs with the exception of three big runs. If you take away just three big plays, the result is 21 points. I think they play very, very well at times. I know that, for us, were going to have to play our best game and worry about our execution and thats what were focused on."
Brees, though, has feasted on the Raiders in his career. He is 6-0 against Oakland, having completed 70.4 percent of his passes for 1,248 yards with 13 touchdowns and not a single interception for a passer rating of 120.7. He has also thrown a touchdown pass in an NFL record 52 straight games.
So yeah, he's fared well against the Raiders.
Palmer, meanwhile, has had a modicum of success in two career games against the Saints. He is thrown for 524 yards with four touchdowns and an interception for a 114.5 QB rating. He said he cannot get caught up in trying to answer Brees on every possession even if the Saints are piling up the points on the Raiders defense.
"You still want to go through your reads," Palmer said. "Sometimes a sack is the best play. Sometimes a punt is the best play. But you cant do it too many times against these guys. Theyre a perennial number one, number two, number three in offense every year and they score a lot of points.
"I dont let myself go into a game thinking, 'You have to score on this drive. You have to score on this drive.' You can get yourself in trouble and get your team in trouble doing that, but I understand what were up against. I understand that we have to keep up with these guys."
Just your average everyday QB vs. QB matchup to watch.