There is one thing that you can say about Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, and that is that he never disrespects an opponent. Every week during his Tuesday press conference he rolls through the upcoming opposition on both sides of the ball which often times makes you think that each and every team he is about to face is full of Pro Bowl type players.
When the Steelers travel out west this coming weekend to take on the Oakland Raiders, they will see a familiar face in quarterback Carson Palmer, who will be facing the Steelers on Sunday for the 13th time in the regular season. Palmer of course spent eight seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals and has faced the Steelers 12 times in the regular season during his career, and once in the postseason.
“This guy is a veteran guy, who is very familiar with us and how we attack people,” Tomlin said on Tuesday. “He probably as much experience against facing our defense and our pre snap looks and our blitz packages, as any quarterback in football. he\’s always represented himself well against us.”
While Palmer might be familiar with the Steelers, he really hasn\’t represented himself as well statistically over the years against the black and gold as Tomlin suggest. The Raiders veteran signal-caller has completed just 234-of-410 pass attempts for 2,402 yards and 17 touchdowns against the Steelers in regular-season action with 11 interceptions and a passer rating of 76.7. His career regular season yards per attempt number in those games is a dismal 5.86 to boot.
To make matters worse, Palmer does not have as good of a receiving unit in Oakland that he did during his time in Cincinnati. Instead of Chad Johnson, T. J. Houshmandzadeh, and Chris Henry, he now has Darrius Heyward-Bey, Rod Streater, Derek Hagan and Denarius Moore to throw to. While Bay leads the group in receptions with 7, he is third on the team behind running back Darren McFadden (15) and tight end Brandon Myers (11).
As great as Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger continues to be on 3rd downs, Palmer hasn\’t been through his first two games against the San Diego Chargers and the Miami Dolphins. While Palmer is 15-of-25 (60%) overall on 3rd downs this season, only 5 of those 15 completions have resulted in a 1st down.
To make matters worse, the Raiders enter week 3 with a 22.22% 3rd down conversion rate, which ranks them last in the league.
If the Raiders are to beat the Steelers this coming Sunday, Palmer will certainly have to represent himself better than he has thus far this season, and when you look at the problems the Raiders have defensively with their injury riddled secondary, he better represent himself to the tune of 30 plus points in order to come away with the win.
Carson Palmer Regular season Stats Versus Steelers