Palmer: 'I let the team down; I let our fans down'


Palmer: 'I let the team down; I let our fans down'


ATLANTA -- Carson Palmer outplayed Matt Ryan.Palmer passed for 353 yards with a touchdown. He rekindled his chemistry with Denarius Moore. He led the Raiders on what might have been a signature game-tying drive.But that's not what the Raiders quarterback wanted to talk about after the Raiders' 23-20 loss to Atlanta. Rather, he wanted to apologize for the costly pick-6 he threw that Asante Samuel returned 79 yards with 2:40 to play.Even if Palmer, you could say, made up for it on the ensuing 2-minute drive that tied the game at 20-20."We had a great gameplan, and I let the team down," Palmer said. "I let our fans down. Making that mistake I made is crucial. It's on me. It's my fault. We fought hard all game long, and that's what we expected. That's what coach expects of us. That's what he preaches -- finishing -- and I didn't do a good enough job of finishing."I feel for our fans. I know our fans wanted it. Put the blame on me. It's completely my fault. I have to do a better job of protecting the ball. I made a crucial mistake and let our team down and let everybody down."Maybe yes. Maybe no.GUTIERREZ: Moral victory? What moral victory?
This much is true, though, when Palmer threw that interception, the Raiders were already in field-goal range to take the lead. Palmer was trying to hit Denarius Moore on the right sideline when Samuel simply jumped the route. And he was gone."My safety, William Moore, gave me the wrong coverage, so I said, 'Forget it,'" Samuel said. "So I said, 'I'm going to do whatever I think,' so he put me in the right position and I just made a good read and broke on it."Said Palmer: "I didn't think he was going to make the play he did. You have to give him credit, he made a good play. But I can't put us in that position. I need to at least make that tackle. It's a mistake I can't make. It's a mistake I made that cost us the game. It can't happen."Palmer completed 23 of 33 passes for those 353 yards, the fourth-highest total of his 14-game Raiders tenure. He was also sacked three times by defensive end John Abraham, who had a field day toying with tackles Willie Smith and Jared Veldheer."We studied a lot of film going into this game," said Abraham, whose strip-sack of Palmer ended with the Falcons having possession at the Raiders 2-yard line. "I felt like I could have a big day. They had a younger tackle (in Smith) who I knew I could rattle easily."Palmer, though, was not having it. His level of accountability made sure of it."It's hard to look at the positives," he said. "It just hurts. It hurts."

Inactives: Raiders RB Murray to play vs Jags; Watson remains out

Inactives: Raiders RB Murray to play vs Jags; Watson remains out

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Latavius Murray is active and ready to play Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. That was expected, as the top Raiders running back passed tests during the practice week that showed coaches he could go.

Right tackle Menelik Watson, however, needs another week. He was limited in each practice, and Austin Howard remained in the catbird’s seat there. Watson will miss a fourth straight game.

Howard will have a solid backup. Matt McCants is active for the first time since the season opener. Vadal Alexander is also out with an ankle injury, though the Raiders have eight offensive lineman dressed an ready for the first time since the opener.

The Raiders will be without some core special teams players. Brynden Trawick is out with a shoulder injury and Taiwan Jones is inactive. He was questionable with a knee injury.

That should hinder the Raiders special teams coverage in particular.

The Jaguars are healthy for this stage in the season, with their starting lineup intact heading into this game.

Here are the full inactives for both teams

Bortles, Carr still carry quarterback bond since NFL Draft

Bortles, Carr still carry quarterback bond since NFL Draft

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Derek Carr found a friend in Blake Bortles during the taxing, often invasive pre-NFL draft process. The pair were considered among 2014’s top college quarterbacks, with stats, size, smarts and arm strength to warrant a top selection.

The pair ended up visiting several of the same quarterback-needy teams leading up to the draft and national events like the NFL scouting combine.

They actually crossed paths in Jacksonville as both players were in to visit a Jaguars team in desperate need of a quarterback.

“We were in Jacksonville together, and then we were somewhere else together, I believe,” Bortles said. “I remember Jacksonville vividly because we went and got dinner together the night before.”

They exchanged numbers and texted each other during that spring. It started a friendship that continued on.

“We talk every now and then – I still have his number, still text him here and there,” Bortles said. “We’ll talk in the offseason and throughout the year, but he’s an unbelievable guy. He’s a guy that I definitely check and see how he’s doing throughout the year after every game and rooting for, and look forward to seeing him Sunday.”

Their paths cross again Sunday in Jacksonville, when the Raiders and Jaguars meet in a Week 7 clash important to both clubs. The 4-2 Raiders hope to surge ahead and erase a terrible home loss to Kansas City. The Jaguars want to expand on a two-game win streak.

These upstart clubs are dependent on big offense and steady play from quarterbacks selected two-plus years ago.

Jacksonville picked third, and had first crack at a 2014 quarterback class headlined by Teddy Bridgewater, Carr, Bortles and Johnny Manziel.

They took Bortles, with all his size, arm strength and Ben Roethlisberger comparisons. Cleveland made a colossal mistake and took Manziel, who flamed out after two hard-partying seasons with the Browns. Minnesota traded back into the first round and nabbed Bridgewater, a competent signal caller who suffered a major knee injury that stole his 2016 season at least.

The Raiders were patient, held on to their pick and still got their guy. They selected Carr No. 36 overall, paired him with No. 5 pick Khalil Mack and put the franchise on the right track.

Through two-plus seasons, Carr’s been the best of the bunch, and Bortles is solidly in second place. Carr’s been more productive, earned more wins and taken better care of the football. Both guys can be gunslingers, but Carr is a bit more measured.

Bortles exemplifies the term. He’s willing to take risks for great reward, a style the Raiders defense wants to exploit in this crucial meeting.

Jaguars offensive coordinator Greg Olson knows Carr and Bortles extremely well. He was the Raiders offensive coordinator during Carr’s rookie year, and the quarterback credits Olson for getting his NFL career off on the right foot.

He has worked with Bortles over the last two years and has played a major part in his development.

Olson sees similarities between these two passing talents and their development from rookie starters into their third professional seasons.

“Both guys are great competitors,” Olson told reporters in Jacksonville. “They are individuals who were thrown into the league and had to play early as rookies. Both guys have gone through changes in coordinators, but they are tremendous competitors and the both prepare extremely well. They’re both intelligent guys.”