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Tuesday, December 13, 2011
2011 Raiders: Tale of two QBs

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Jason Campbell and Carson Palmer have been the quarterback for the Oakland Raiders for about the same amount of time this season.

Who was better for the Raiders?

Even though the Raiders have thrown the ball more with Palmer, they were more effective with Campbell and had a better record with him.

Campbell started six games for the Raiders before suffering a collarbone injury in Week 6 against Cleveland. The Raiders were 4-2 in Campbell’s six starts. Palmer -- who was acquired from Cincinnati for two premium picks two days after Campbell went down -- has also started six games for Oakland and has played in seven games as a Raider. The Raiders are 3-3 in Palmer’s six starts and 3-4 in games he has played in.

Palmer has thrown 13 interceptions in 219 passes. Campbell threw four interceptions in 166 attempts. Palmer has thrown for 1,730 yards and nine touchdowns on 123-of-219 passes. He has completed 56.2 percent of his passes and he has a 70.8 quarterback rating.

Campbell has thrown for 1,170 passes on 100-of-166 passes. He has completed 60.8 percent of his passes. He threw six touchdowns and had a quarterback rating of 84.2. Also, Campbell was sacked five times while Palmer has been dumped 14 times.

It seems like the Raiders’ passing offense has been more dynamic and was more used with Palmer, but it has been more mistake prone.

Yes, Palmer has played without running back Darren McFadden, who starred when Campbell was playing. But until recent games, the Oakland run attack was strong.

What does it all mean?

It boils down to wins and losses. Palmer was brought to Oakland to win and he has three games to get the Raiders -- who are 7-6 and a game behind Denver in the AFC West and who is a game behind in the wild card race -- to the playoffs. The key for him is to cut down on his mistakes.

As for Campbell, there was originally hope he’d be ready at the end of the season. Oakland has not put him on the injured reserve, but it’s likely the only way he’d play again this season is if his health quickly improves and Palmer gets hurt. Campbell is a free agent at the end of the season and has said he wants to be starter in 2012. The Raiders are essentially married to Palmer because of what they gave up for him.