Why was Palmer still in the game at the end?

October 1, 2012, 5:54 am
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DENVER -- This could go down as one of the first, if not more pointed, second-guesses of Dennis Allen's nascent coaching career.Why in the world was Carson Palmer still in the game late in the Raiders' embarrassing 37-6 defeat to the Denver Broncos on Sunday?RELATED Paul G's Instant Replay: Broncos 37, Raiders 6"We wanted to compete all the way to the end," Allen said, "and that's what we're going to do."Fine, for sending a message as a new regime. But the fact is, the competitive part of this game had ended long ago. Like somewhere in the middle of the Broncos' avalanche of points in the third quarter.And by leaving Palmer in the game, it simply exposed the quarterback to unnecessary hits.Like the roughing-the passer-penalty Palmer absorbed from defensive end Robert Ayers. With the Raiders trailing by 31 points. With less than 90 seconds remaining in the game.Like five seconds later, the jarring sack Palmer took from defensive end Elvis Dumervil and fumbled, though right tackle Willie Smith recovered the ball.It simply made no sense to have Palmer in the game at that point.And as former Raiders coach Tom Flores wondered aloud on the radio broadcast, why, when it's obvious Oakland is going to pass, did the play calling have any play-action involved, since it would simply expose Palmer's back to a rabid Broncos pass rush? Why not have Palmer simply sit back in the shotgun so he could see the defense coming at him and have a better shot at avoiding a hit?The official stats show Denver with only eight hits on the quarterback, but it seemed more than that, with each hit getting progressively more violent and thus, more dangerous."It was nothing more than a good, old-fashioned butt-whooping," Palmer said, referring to the game in general.But the hits he took at the end were just as needless.