Carson Palmer’s return to Paul Brown Stadium this week has a lot of fans talking. But Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis made it clear he has little interest in discussing his former quarterback and their tumultuous, acrimonious split.
“Just like any other player who was here (and) now he’s not here,” Lewis said when asked about Palmer at his Monday press conference. “Our job is to beat the Oakland Raiders and Carson Palmer come Sunday. That’s part of what we’re here for.
“Carson had a good career here. His family is great — wife, kids — but he no longer plays here. I don’t think we need to spend anymore time talking about it.”
Palmer’s trade demand certainly has worked out well for the Bengals, who were forced to thrust Andy Dalton into the starting role as a rookie. Dalton led the team to the playoffs and earned a Pro Bowl invitation, and his numbers this year are even better than they were as a rookie.
Palmer, on the other hand, is 7-13 as a starter with the Raiders. He has thrown for more yards than Dalton this season (3,035 to 2,559), but Dalton has more touchdown passes (20 to 17) and a better passer rating (92.7 to 85.8). Both quarterbacks have thrown 11 interceptions.
“Everything’s worked out,” Dalton said. “For me, it’s perfect. I got to play all last year, got to start and didn’t have to worry about any of that stuff.”
Here is a look at Palmer and the rest of the Raiders’ team the Bengals will be facing Sunday:
The Raiders rank ninth in the NFL with 369.4 yards per game, but they are far from balanced. They rank 31st in rushing (81 ypg) and sixth in passing (288.4).
All of those yards have not translated to scores, however, as Oakland is averaging 20.8 points per game, which ranks 22nd in the league. A big reason for that is turnovers, as the Raiders have one of the worst differentials in the NFL at minus-5, which ranks 24th.
Leading rusher Darren McFadden has missed the last two games with an ankle injury and is unlikely to play against the Bengals.
The top receiving threats are Brandon Myers (50 catches for 554 yards and three TDs) and Denarius Moore (35 catches for 584 yards and five TDs).
The Raiders have been reeling on defense of late, surrendering 135 points in their last three games — all losses.
Oakland ranks 24th in the league in yards allowed (375.6) and dead last in points (32.2). The Raiders have struggled equally against the run (23rd, 122.4) and pass (24th, 253.2).
Twelve-year veteran defensive lineman Richard Seymour leads the Raiders with three sacks, while fifth-year linebacker Philip Wheeler is tops in tackles with 78. Seventh-year cornerback Michael Huff has a team-high two interceptions.
Thirteen-year veteran Sebastian Janikowski continues to be one of the top kickers in the league with 22 field goals in 23 tries, include 2-of-3 from beyond 50 yards.
Punter Shane Lechler ranks seventh in the league in average at 48.5, but his net of 37.9 ranks just 24th.
The Raiders hold a commanding 20-8 edge, but the Bengals have a 7-6 lead in games played in Cincinnati.
This will only be Oakland’s second visit to Cincinnati since 1996, the most recent of which came in 2006 when the Bengals prevailed 27-10.
Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to exclusive deals and newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.