Beginning today we review the Raiders' season by looking at each position group and assigning grades. Up first -- the quarterbacks…
Carson Palmer -- 4,018 yards passing, 345-565, 61.1%, 22 TDs, 14 INTs, 85.3 rating
Matt Leinart -- 115 yards passing, 16-33, 48.5%, 0 TDs, 1 INT, 44.4 rating
Terrelle Pryor -- 155 yards passing, 14-30, 46.7%, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 70.8 rating
One of the big questions coming into the season was whether or not Carson Palmer's skill set of a pure pocket passer would mesh with the incoming West Coast Offense and accompanying zone-blocking scheme.
Palmer had never been asked to use his feet as much in the NFL before and while he threw the occasional unsightly interception, he was the least of the Raiders' problems. In fact, he was a bright spot in passing for 4,018 yards (the second-highest in franchise history) despite missing the season's final seven-plus quarters with cracked ribs and a bruised lung suffered when Carolina's Greg Hardy launched his helmet into Palmer's left side.
He threw 22 touchdowns and 14 picks on 61.1 percent passing (345 of 565) for a passer rating of 85.3, his best in five years. And due to make a reported $13 million, with a salary cap number of $16.8 million, Palmer figures to return in 2013.
As does Terrelle Pryor, who showed in the season finale at San Diego he can play in the NFL, even if there is still much work to do. Being the backup quarterback next season, rather than No. 3, will help his development. But it was obvious how much the Chargers defense had to respect his running ability in the finale, when he rushed 49 yards and a TD on nine carries.