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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer said he loves to play games on the road in packed stadiums in front of loud, hostile crowds.
He's not expecting that when his team visits the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on Sunday.
We know this is going to be an interesting atmosphere. It's not going to be a sold-out stadium. It's going to be a little bit of a different energy in it, and we've got to be prepared for that and just be ready to play football.” -- Carson Palmer, on playing at EverBank Field
"We've played in some tough places," Palmer said. "We know this is going to be an interesting atmosphere. It's not going to be a sold-out stadium. It's going to be a little bit of a different energy in it, and we've got to be prepared for that and just be ready to play football.
"I personally love playing on the road when it is loud and it's sold out. You make it quieter. And I've played in stadiums where there wasn't a home-field advantage and it wasn't real loud. There's good and bad in both. The crowd noise isn't a factor when it's empty, but you just don't have that same energy in the stadium. When the crowd is full and you've got to fight that crowd noise, there's a great energy in there, too, that gets you going."
It may not have been an intentional shot at the Jaguars and their fans, but that's how it's going to be perceived in Jacksonville. Attendance is a sore subject in the city because of the team's past problems drawing fans; it had three blackouts in 2007 and seven in 2009.
The team hasn't had a blackout since and finished 20th in the NFL in attendance last season and 25th in 2011. Arizona finished 27th in 2011 and 26th last season.
The Jaguars have averaged 59,554 tickets distributed for the three games at EverBank Field this season -- the actual turnstile count is closer to 50,000 per game -- which isn't terrible considering the team has played horribly at home. They have been outscored 89-11 and haven't scored a touchdown there all season.
The Jaguars haven't played at EverBank since a 24-6 loss to San Diego on Oct. 20.
"I know we're going to enjoy playing at home," coach Gus Bradley said. "Our hope is to build this to where it becomes a great third-down advantage for us [and] it's so loud that it's hard for opposing teams to come in to our stadium. But we have to earn that, and this is a step that we can take in the right direction."