Everyone and their mother love to talk about the Raider’s young, fast and exciting receivers. In between Carson Palmer interceptions these guys made some outstanding catches and made the man who got off of his couch midseason look pretty good at moments. Whether it was Heyward-Bey working on his breakout season, Denarius Moore earning his weekly time on Sportscenter or Jacoby Ford tearing up the turf, these guys looked excellent when they were given a chance. A group of receivers can’t win your team’s games, though, with a quarterback throwing more interceptions than touchdowns.
Last year Carson Palmer threw 13 touchdowns and a disgusting 16 interceptions. This was the first time in his eight-year career where his interceptions outnumbered his touchdowns. Any rookie football analyst knows that this ratio is not going to win games for your team. In fact, without Jason Campbell leading the team to a winning record before checking out with an injury, I don’t think that Carson would’ve lead the Raiders to their 8-8 record.
Now, I’m not trying to hate on Carson right now. I think this man has one of the best arms in the league and before he came to the Raiders he was one of my absolute favorite quarterbacks to watch. Those deep balls he would throw to Chad Johnson remind me of the moments of brilliance in which he and Denarius Moore hooked up last season.
What Carson Palmer needs to water down those interceptions next season is a star running back. Now, I know that Michael Bush had a great season last year but he was just not a Darren McFadden type of threat. Bush did a great job as a backup while playing for Palmer but he wasn’t the type of player that defenses plan their schemes around. Having McFadden line up behind Palmer will take so much pressure off of the passing game that he will be able to get back to the passer that he once was.
Having McFadden tearing up the field next season will cause linebackers and safeties to bite on play action and open up major passing lanes downfield. Last year the Raiders didn’t have a healthy balance of run and pass that it takes to run an elite offense. Having one of the best halfbacks in the NFL lining up behind any quarterback will majorly improve his stat sheet. Let’s not forget how dirty that Darren McFadden screen pass can be!