- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Three nuggets of knowledge about Week 7:
Palmer needs to paint more carefully outside the numbers: Make no mistake: The Jacksonville defensive staff has studied up on how to jump Carson Palmer's passes in advance of the Jaguars' visit to Oakland on Sunday, the only AFC West action of the week. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Palmer completed 10 of his first 11 passes outside the numbers at Atlanta in Week 6. However, his 12th such pass was underthrown and was returned for a touchdown with 2:40 remaining in an eventual 23-20 loss. Despite that throw, it was Palmer’s best passing game outside the numbers this season. He completed 78.6 percent of his passes outside the numbers against Atlanta after completing just 55.7 percent in the first four games. Jacksonville knows Palmer will go back to those plays, but it will also know it can have some success defending against it.
Early-down success: The Raiders have been productive offensively on first and second down -- but their success dips tremendously after that. According to ESPN Stats & Information, since Week 9 of last season, the Raiders have converted a first down on first down 33.2 percent of the time, the fifth-best mark in the league. They have converted a first down on second down 41.8 percent of the time, second in the NFL. However, Oakland has converted a first down on 29.6 percent of its third downs, tied for 23rd-best in the league. On fourth down, Oakland is converting at a 42.9 percent clip, tied for 16th-best. If the Raiders don’t convert early, things get dicey.
Does 300 yards mean victory? Perhaps the Raiders should hope Palmer throws for fewer than 300 yards against the Jaguars. Palmer is a perfect example that a lot of yards doesn’t always translate into victory. The Raiders are 1-5 since last October when Palmer throws for more than 300 yards. Palmer’s accuracy seems to help Oakland more. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Raiders are 3-2 when Palmer completes at least 70 percent of his passes.