Raiders key matchup No. 3: Palmer vs. Suggs

Raiders key matchup No. 3: Palmer vs. Suggs
November 9, 2012, 5:06 pm
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EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first part in a series that spotlights three Raiders-Ravens matchups to watch Sunday, 10 a.m. (CBS), at M&T Bank Stadium.Raiders QB Carson Palmer vs.
Ravens OLB Terrell SuggsTale of the tape
Palmer (3): 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, 10th season, USC
Suggs (20): 6-foot-3, 260 pounds, 10th season, Arizona StateALAMEDA -- The rivalry between Carson Palmer and Terrell Suggs goes back to their college days in the old Pac-10, reached a boiling point in the AFC North and rekindles this weekend."Me and him come from the same draft class, 2003," Suggs said in a conference call with Bay Area reporters this week. "He also played at USC, I was at Arizona State. So, this guy has kind of tortured me through all my college and professional career. Im very aware of the talent. I know he can make every throw. If you ask me, hes very highly underrated. Hes definitely one of the premier quarterbacks in the league."Palmer went No. 1 overall in 2003, Suggs No. 10 overall to Baltimore.With the Cincinnati Bengals, Palmer went 9-4 against the Ravens, the most wins against Baltimore by any quarterback. He has a career 84.4 QB rating against the Ravens, having thrown for 3,202 yards on 61 percent passing with 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions."Hes definitely still the same guy," Suggs said. "Im talking about that from a good standpoint. I dont fear any quarterbacks, but he definitely, Im always worried when I play Carson Palmer."I would say his poise, his decision making (stand out). He can make every throw. He has phenomenal talent. That's why he's the Heisman winner. All that into one."Suggs, meanwhile is returning from a torn Achilles' suffered in an offseason workout in April. He was not expected back until November but was playing on Oct. 21. The reigning NFL defensive player of the year had a sack in his first game back, and the mutual admiration society was in full bloom."I mean, its amazing he is playing," Palmer said of Suggs' return from injury. "I remember when it happened, I remember thinking'That sucks for Terrell, but hell be (playing) by the time we get out in Baltimore.' And sure enough, he was playing two or three weeks ago against Houston. Thats the type of guy he is. Hes an extremely hard worker. Hes going to come back early, and just when you doubt him, he proves people wrong."Suggs is a five-time Pro Bowler."I played against him for 15 years now, a phenomenal football player, phenomenal against the pass and phenomenal against the run," Palmer added. "There arent a lot of guys who are good at both, like he is. I dont know if there is another one, as good as he is, at playing them both."And with the Raiders most likely missing their top two running backs in Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson to high ankle sprains, Oakland's gameplan figures to depend heavily on the passing arm of Palmer.Besides, Baltimore's defense is not as fearsome on paper as it has been in recent years with Ray Lewis lost for the year with a torn right triceps and the Ravens having only the No. 26 overall-ranked defense, No. 22 against the pass and No. 28 against the run."As far as playing against Baltimore, its always an uphill battle," Palmer said. "Their numbers are not statistically where they normally are, and theyve had some injuries, but they are still 6-2, and theyre still very good at home. Their crowd is phenomenal. They make it a hostile environment to come in and try to communicate and play."You have to play great, you cant play okay and win. You have to put together four quarters and put together a complete game, if you want to get out of there with a win. Its difficult to do there."