Posted November 21, 2012 on AP on Fox
For seven seasons, Carson Palmer was the face of the Cincinnati Bengals, leading them to two playoff appearances and earning two Pro Bowl trips before the parties endured an ugly split last year. Returning to Paul Brown Stadium for the first time since he was traded to Oakland, Palmer looks to help the Raiders avoid a fourth straight loss and keep the Bengals from a third consecutive victory Sunday. A Heisman Trophy winner at Southern California, Palmer was the first overall pick by Cincinnati in 2003. He led the Bengals to AFC North titles in 2005 and 2009, but after a 4-12 season in 2010, Palmer wanted out. Ownership refused to trade him, so Palmer held out and stood away from the team before he was finally dealt to Oakland in the middle of last season for a 2012 first-round pick and 2013 conditional selection. Palmer has naturally tried to downplay his return, especially since the Raiders (3-7) are looking to avoid their first four-game skid since Oct. 26-Nov. 16, 2008. "It's a big game," said Palmer, who has thrown six interceptions in the last three contests. "But it's obviously a much bigger game for our team. We have to get a win. We're going to fight, we're going to grind this week. We have a lot of room for improvement, a lot of areas we need to improve on." The Bengals (5-5), meanwhile, are trying to avoid the topic entirely. "Just like any other player who was here," coach Marvin Lewis said. "Now he's not here, so our job is to beat the Oakland Raiders and Carson Palmer on Sunday. He no longer plays here, so I think we no longer need to spend any time speaking about it." With plenty of tickets available for this contest, it also appears Cincinnati fans aren't too interested in Palmer's return. However, they should be eager to see a Bengals club that has followed a four-game slide by outscoring the New York Giants and Kansas City 59-19 in consecutive wins. "We're playing the way we should've been playing all year," linebacker Thomas Howard said. "I'm really excited about how we're playing on defense. Our offense is putting points on the board. This is Bengal football as you've been seeing the last two weeks, and I expect more of it." Andy Dalton, who replaced Palmer and led the Bengals to the playoffs while throwing for 3,398 yards and 20 touchdowns as a rookie in 2011, has thrown six TDs and no picks in the last two games. He's already thrown 20 TDs this season, and his 92.7 passer rating ranks 11th in the league. Fellow second-year star A.J. Green has caught a touchdown pass in nine straight games. His 64 receptions are one shy of last season's total, and his 10 TDs are three more than he recorded in 2011. Teammate BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for a season-high 101 yards and a score in last Sunday's 28-6 win at Kansas City. Cincinnati could be in for another big day against a Raiders team that ranks last in the NFL allowing 32.2 points per game and has been outscored 135-69 over the last three contests. The Bengals stood firm against struggling offenses in the Giants and Chiefs, and they have some renewed confidence after giving up 89 points in the previous three games. Though the organization has downplayed Palmer's return, it's likely the Cincinnati defense is excited for the chance to add to the Raiders' recent struggles. "We're playing against a good team, from a good division," Palmer told the Raiders' official website. "We need to go in there and find a way to get a win. "I think consistency has been our biggest Achilles' heel. The teams that win consistently in this league play consistently well four quarters of the game. That's something we haven't done." Palmer, who threw two TDs and two INTs in last Sunday's 38-17 loss to New Orleans, is third in the NFL with 3,035 yards but has thrown 11 interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns. One of the few recent bright spots is fullback Marcel Reece, who has rushed for 151 yards on 33 carries over the last two games in place of injured backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson. Reece is second on the Raiders with 37 receptions. It's uncertain if an ankle injury will force McFadden to miss a third straight contest. With Palmer under center for Cincinnati, the teams split their last two meetings. Oakland won 20-17 at home in the most recent matchup in 2009.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Carson Palmer says it was time to leave the Bengals

Former Bengals and current Oakland Raiders starting  quarterback Carson Palmer says he wanted out of Cincinnati last season for professional reasons and that it was time for him to go. “Really just professional. Like I said, it was time. It was definitely time to move on, said Palmer, per the Cincinnati Enquirer.  ”I’m glad the way it worked out and I’m glad for the Bengals...

Bengals back to even as Palmer comes to town

The Bengals are back to the break-even mark as they get ready for a reunion. Carson Palmer is returning to town. The Bengals (5-5) have gotten back into playoff contention by playing their best games of the season back-to-back. They've beaten the defending Super Bowl-champion Giants 31-13 and the lowly Chiefs 28-6 in the last two weeks, emerging from a four-game losing streak...

Raiders struggle in first year of new regime

(Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated. With AP Photos.) By JOSH DUBOW AP Sports Writer When the new regime took over the Oakland Raiders last January, they inherited an 8-8 team that fell one game shy of the playoffs, featuring an offense that could be prolific at times and a defense that was historically bad. Ten games into the first season under general manager Reggie McKenzie and...

Former top 5 pick released again but this time by the Raiders

Today the Oakland Raiders announced that they released LB Aaron Curry. Curry missed most of the offseason, all of camp, and the first eight games with knee soreness. Activated from the PUP list, he played just 15 snaps versus the Ravens and three against the Saints last week. The No. 4 overall pick in the 2009 draft may have to prove that his knee is at full strength before landing...

Darren McFadden Questionable For Week 12

Oft-injured Oakland running back Darren McFadden (ankle) will once again be listed as questionable for Sunday's game against Cincinnati.Fantasy Spin:McFadden has never been a quick healer and the original diagnosis in Week 9 was 2-4 weeks. Marcel Reece is the best fantasy option out of the Raiders backfield after posting 193 yards from scrimmage last weekend.

Aaron Curry: “No Longer a Raider”

Per a tweet from Aaron Curry’s Twitter feed, he has announced he has been released by the Oakland Raiders:   Curry, drafted 4th overall in the 2009 NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawks, was widely considered to be the best linebacker in his draft, and there was even speculation he could go as high as #1 overall.  He signed a 6-year, $60 million contract, with $34 million guaranteed...

Raiders Release LB Aaron Curry

Aaron Curry tweeted that he no longer plays for the Oakland Raiders this afternoon, which is a pretty clear indication that he was released by the team. Curry has been hampered by knee injuries for a good majority of his NFL career. He was placed on the Raiders PUP list and wound up missing the team’s first eight games this season. Curry was the No. 4 overall pick back in the...

Palmer not dwelling on past in Cincinnati

Chances are good Carson Palmer will end up with more passing yards in a season for the Raiders than he ever had in Cincinnati. He has proven that his arm is as good as ever and still flashes the skills that made him one of the NFL's elite quarterbacks with the Bengals in 2005 and 2006, starting a year after he came out of USC as the No. 1 overall pick in the draft and winner...

Bengals not focusing on Palmer's return

For over a year, fans have been looking forward to Carson Palmer's return to Paul Brown Stadium as the Raiders face the Bengals. When it comes to the players though, they moved on from it all during the lockout. The focus this week isn't on why Palmer decided he wanted out after eight seasons -- even though during Wednesday's conference call the reason slanted a lot...

Cincinnati Bengals: Week 12 NFL Power Rankings (#20)

Last week: 26 (+6) Record: 5-5 The Bengals now stand at 5-5, but I won’t rule them out to be this year’s team that goes from in the playoffs to 5 wins or fewer. The Lions are the favorite and I also won’t rule out that we won’t have one this year, something that’s only happened once in the last decade. However, looking at the Bengals remaining schedule, they’re only definitely...

Tonight: Lorenzo Neal

Comcast Sports NFL Analyst Lorenzo Neal joins Fox Sports Tonight to recap the Monday Night Football Game and Week 11 in the NFL.

Into the garbage chute

  So this is it? This is how we discover what kind of team the Raiders are? After all that was said in the past, after all of the grinding, promises about change, and continuous banter about the greatness being in the future, this is how we show what we truly are? Into the garbage chute, flyboys! This hurts like getting your damn hand was cut off, doesn't it? (believe...
NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.