- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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What it means: It’s been a terrible two weeks for the Oakland Raiders, who skipped into December with a lead in the AFC West and on a three-game winning streak. This 46-16 debacle followed up a 34-14 loss at the Miami Dolphins last week. Neither of these two games was close. Now, Oakland is a game behind the 8-5 Denver Broncos with three games to go. Is it panic time? No, but panic is trying to kick in the doors in Oakland.
A long way to go: The 13-0 Packers showed Oakland how far it is from being the game’s elite. The Raiders simply couldn’t complete with Green Bay. The Packers led 31-0 at halftime. It was the Raiders’ worst halftime deficit in team history.
Palmer was dreadful: Oakland traded two premium picks to the Cincinnati Bengals for quarterback Carson Palmer in order for him to perform in games like this. He was terrible. After making strides in Oakland, Palmer has taken a step back and threw four interceptions Sunday. Palmer has thrown 13 interceptions and nine touchdown passes for the Raiders. He had one great game at San Diego, but otherwise has not looked like the difference-maker Oakland expected him to be.
Need the speed back: The Raiders were missing running backs Darren McFadden and Taiwan Jones and receivers Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore. Palmer needs to get that world-class speed back as soon as possible if Oakland is going to make a playoff run.
What’s next: The Raiders host the Detroit Lions on Sunday. The Raiders are not out of this race -- a win over the Lions and a Denver home loss to the New England Patriots next week ties this baby back up. Oakland has to start playing better in all aspects.