After leading a game-tying drive in the final minute to tie the last undefeated team in the NFL on the road, Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer had every right to take solace.
The fact he didn’t spoke to his character, according to teammates.
Instead of taking comfort in the way he rebounded in a near-miss at Atlanta, Palmer shouldered all the blame for the 23-20 loss which dropped the Raiders to 1-4.
“We had a great game plan, and I let the team down, I let the fans down.” Palmer said, via Jerry McDonald of BayAreaNewsGroup.com. “Making the mistake I made was crucial. It’s my fault.”
The mistake was an interception which Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel returned 79 yards for a touchdown, and not even the 80-yard touchdown drive which tied the game with 40 seconds left was consolation, not when the Falcons responded with another last-minute win.
“There are no moral victories in this game,” Palmer said. “There’s wins and losses, and that’s a loss. It’s on my shoulders.
“I didn’t think he was going to make the play he did. Give him credit, he made a good play, but I can’t put us in that position. I’ve got to at least make the tackle. It’s a mistake I can’t make, and it’s a mistake I made that cost us the game.”
Otherwise, Palmer played a clean game, and had the Raiders in position to win the kind of game they needed. Defensive tackle Richard Seymour said the game-tying drive “showed the heart of a champion.”
But until the Raiders put some results on the board, it won’t matter much.