Editor’s note: This is the second part in a series that spotlights three Cardinals-Raiders matchups to watch Sunday, 1:25 p.m., at O.co Coliseum.
Cardinals QB Carson Palmer vs. Raiders pass rush, featuring OLB Khalil Mack
Tale of the tape:
Palmer (3): 6-foot-3, 235 pounds, 12th season, Southern California
Mack (52): 6-foot-3, 252 pounds, rookie season, Buffalo
The Raiders have 45 quarterback pressures to just five sacks. That ratio should be higher considering the pedigree of the Raiders featured pass rushers, but the Silver and Black have gotten to the quarterback as much as they’d like.
The Raiders would certainly like to bring former Raider and current Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer down regularly and make big plays on defense.
That may be tough against Palmer and the Cardinals offensive line. According to Pro Football Focus, Palmer has been sacked three times, 9.1 percent of his 87 dropbacks.
Mack has made a strong impact without registering a sack, but would definitely like to get one posthaste. The Raiders hope to see better production from free-agent signings LaMarr Woodley and Justin Tuck – the latter has made some big plays – as pass rushers.
“Both of them have put in good effort and they’re professional in their work,” defensive coordinator Jason Tarver said. “They’re trying to keep themselves healthy and that’s good, but the biggest thing is, when you get one-on-one blocks, you’ve got to win.”
Palmer is a game removed from a shoulder injury, but has shown few ill effects of that ailment. The Raiders expect him to be at full strength on Sunday at O.co Coliseum.
“He looked very comfortable, particularly as the game went on (last week),” Raiders interim head coach Tony Sparano said. “When he started the football game, I had seen one thing and then the way he finished the game, I had seen a complete different thing. I thought, as the game went on, he got more and more confident.”