Carson Palmer, the Raiders' defense and the 4th quarter
Every rule needs an exception to prove its veracity, right? Enter Oakland's Carson Palmer and the popular phrase "It's a quarterback-driven league."
Yes, it helps for an NFL team to have a top-flight quarterback to win games. But from a stastistical basis, that doesn't always mean much.
Palmer ranks third in the NFL in passing yards with 3,035 yards, trailing Atlanta's Matt Ryan and New Orleans' Drew Brees. Atlanta is 9-1, New Orleans is 5-5 and Oakland is 3-7.
Palmer is tied for ninth in passing touchdowns with 17, and is tied for seventh with 11 interceptions. His 85.8 passer rating is in the lower half of NFL quarterbacks at No. 18.
He also happens to be in the top 10 of most fantasy league quarterback rankings.
So if the Raiders are getting good quarterback play, how are they 3-7? Well, the NFL-worst 322 points allowed is an easy explainer.
But Palmer's numbers are still good, thanks in large part to facing soft defenses in the fourth quarter with his team trailing significantly. Four of Oakland's seven losses so far have been by at least 20 points, meaning he has to throw more often at the end to attempt a comeback.
Here's a look at Palmer's quarter-by-quarter numbers through 10 games: