Bengals roll to 34-10 win over Palmer, Raiders
CINCINNATI (AP) The purplish bruises on the back of Carson Palmer's passing shoulder and the nasty red scrape down the middle of his back vividly summed up his horrid homecoming.
The Bengals made it painful for Palmer all-around.
Andy Dalton threw three touchdown passes against Oakland's dreadful defense, and the Cincinnati Bengals showed their former franchise quarterback that they've moved on without him, beating the Raiders 34-10 on Sunday.
"Not a lot went right, from start to finish," Palmer said.
Basically, the Bengals (6-5) did anything they wanted while pulling ahead 24-0 in the first half. They also got the better of a nasty second half that included an on-field fight and three ejections.
Cincinnati has moved back into playoff contention with three straight lopsided wins. For now, the Bengals have everything working.
"You need to be balanced when you're playing a game like this," said Dalton, who was 16 of 30 for 210 yards. "When you get the lead early, you want to be able to run the ball. We've just got to keep it up."
BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for 129 yards and a touchdown against the NFL's most generous defense. He had runs of 48 and 39 yards - the longest of his career - to set up scores.
Oakland's frustration boiled over in the fourth quarter.
A brawl broke out after a play was whistled dead because of a penalty, and Oakland's Tommy Kelly and Lamarr Houston ended up on top of Cincinnati's Andrew Whitworth in the middle of a big scrum of players. All three were ejected.
"They were probably looking for a fight because they weren't doing much on the field," Whitworth said.
Oakland (3-8) has lost a season-high four straight games, giving up 169 points in the process.
"I'm just really tired of losing," safety Mike Mitchell said. "It's going from anger to sadness to ... I don't know."
Palmer hadn't been back to Cincinnati since the Bengals traded him in the middle of last season, finally satisfying his demand for a trade. He went 19 of 34 for 146 yards with four sacks and an interception.
He was booed by the 56,503 fans - the smallest crowd of the season at Paul Brown Stadium - when he went out for the coin toss. He got a hug from former teammate Rey Maualuga and finally met Dalton, who was drafted in the second round last year to replace him.
A sign in the upper deck read: "Winners Never Quit," a reference to Palmer's insistence he would never play for the Bengals again.
"You obviously hear it," Palmer said of the boos. "You can't block things like that out. But I prepared myself for that."
The first time he tried to pass, Palmer got a hint it would be a long day. Tackle Geno Atkins shot through the line virtually untouched and sacked Palmer as he faked a handoff. Palmer was sacked twice on Oakland's first possession.
It never got a whole lot better. With running back Darren McFadden sidelined again by an ankle injury, the Raiders were missing one of their best options.
The NFL's most generous defense allowed the Bengals to take control 24-0 in a dominant first half. Green-Ellis found a big hole on Cincinnati's third play of the game and ran a career-best 48 yards before getting shoved out at the 1. Green-Ellis then carried the final yard.
On Cincinnati's next series, the Raiders gave up a 44-yard reception by A.J. Green and a 27-yard reception by Jermaine Gresham. Mohamed Sanu made a one-hand touchdown catch for a 14-0 lead. The Bengals had 156 yards after only two series.
Dalton's 5-yard touchdown pass to Sanu made it 21-0 midway through the second quarter. At that point, the Raiders' offense hadn't yet crossed midfield.
The half ended with one more Raiders mistake. Marcel Reece had Palmer's pass go off his hands, and Chris Crocker intercepted with 8 seconds left. Mike Nugent's 55-yard field goal tied the club record and put the Bengals up 24-0.
Oakland allowed 289 yards in the half - the most this season - and had only 83 yards, its fewest on offense since it managed 52 yards in the first half at Pittsburgh on Nov. 21, 2010.
Sebastian Janikowski's 55-yard field goal ended the shutout in the third quarter, and Palmer beat a blitz by lofting a 20-yard touchdown pass to Denarius Moore.
The Bengals got a break in the fourth quarter when an inadvertent whistle wiped out Sanu's fumble deep in Cincinnati territory with 7:22 to go. On the next play, the brawl broke out that resulted in the ejections.
NOTES: Green failed to catch a TD pass, ending his streak of nine games with one. It's the second-longest streak in club history. ... Atkins' ninth sack moved him one ahead of Dan Wilkinson for the club record by an interior lineman. ... CB Leon Hall missed a play after he broke up a pass in the first quarter, hurting a finger on his left hand. He got two fingers taped together and returned. ... Chris Bahr also kicked a 55-yard field goal for the Bengals on Sept. 23, 1979 against Houston.
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
Updated November 25, 2012
We check in for our weekly update from Bill Belichick and get his take on the Pats win over the Texans on the road, the benching of Stevan Ridley, and Antonio Smith's thinly veiled Spygate comments after the Texans lost.
Patriots’ defensive end, Rob Ninkovich, joins Mut and Merloni on a Patriots Monday after the team’s victory in Houston. Rob addresses the postgame comments of Texans’ defensive lineman Antonio Smith and the defense struggling against the run.
Tom Brady joined the show fresh off the teams 9th win of the season in Houston. He dismissed Antonio Smith's spying allegations and told the guys he has already moved on.
Eagle checks in to give Grande and Max a perspective on the Brooklyn Nets after they acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett via trade earlier this summer. He breaks down what he thinks the future holds for the Nets after completing this blockbuster deal.
Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell take some time and look back at the history between the Celtics and the Lakers, specifically the legendary rivalry between Magic and Bird. Legendary broadcaster, Ian Eagle, checks in to give the Brooklyn perspective as KG and Paul Pierce settle into their new home. Sean and Max also reveal the behind the scenes details surrounding Max’s famous “I got the ball” moment.
In the first hour of this edition of the Celtics Summer Cooler, Grande and Max analyze the trade that sent Fab Melo out of Boston. Also in this hour, Max sets the story straight about his history with Larry Bird.
Rob Bradford and Alex Speier talk with Jon Lester about contract negotiations, losing a teammate like Jacoby Ellsbury, the World Series run, and looking ahead to 2014.
Rob Bradford and Alex Speier are back witht he Hot Stove Show. They talk about Jacoby Ellsbury signing with the New York Yankees, the Red Sox signings of AJ Pierzynski and Edward Mujica, and wrap it up with Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester, who talks about the World Series run, losing a teammate like Ellsbury and looking towards 2014.
The Red Sox new catcher, A.J. Pierzynski, joined the show to discuss his reputation as the most hated man in baseball. He also said that he turned down multi-year deals to come and win in Boston.
Shawn Thornton joined the show and discussed the teams long layoff leading into their game tomorrow night in Montreal. He told the guys that he anticipates fighting being a part of hockey for years to come.
Lucic joins Danny Picard to talk some hockey after the team’s overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes. Danny asks Lucic about David Krejci’s game winner yesterday and hockey outsiders that are trying to change the game.
Shawn Thornton joined the show fresh off his big night at MSG and talked about his recent goal scoring prowess. Shawn said that no matter who his line mates are he is always going to be a fourth liner.
Kirk Minihane answered any and all questions from the listeners and John and Gerry.
The New York Post's Joel Sherman joined the show with his thoughts on jacoby Ellsbury's signing with the Yankees. He said that if it were up to him he would have given the money to Robinson Cano over Ellsbury.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane. They discussed how Ron Burgundy has officially jumped the shark and played sound of him on Dan Patrick.
Peter King joins Mut and Merloni to go across the NFL and address the latest news. He discusses Kubiak's firing, Tomlin's fine, and Dennard's possible suspension.
Brick makes his weekly appearance on Mut and Merloni and discusses the Bruins loss to Montreal and the hit on Johnny Boychuck.
Michael Fabiano, fantasy expert and Yankees fan, gives his opinion on the Cano signing, discusses Julian Edelman's rising fantasy value, and actually suggests starting Ryan Fitzpatrick
We check in with Herm Edwards on the Pats, Stevan Ridley, and a great many things around the NFL.
We stir up a pot of crap when we debate the world cup and the popularity of soccer... pro callers, con-callers, plus Jack Edwards!
We tackle four topics at 4PM.
Ryder talks with WEEI.com's Chris Price about the Patriots upcoming game with the Cleveland Browns, and Stevan Ridley's status on the team.
Alex joins the show and gives his thoughts on the Jacoby Ellsbury deal, and what prospects the Red Sox have to fill the hole left in the lineup, or trade pieces to get a player who can fill the void.
John talks to Rob and gets his thoughts on the Yankees signing Jacoby Ellsbury, the Red Sox signing AJ Pierzynski, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia signing with Miami.
Kirk Minihane answered any and all questions from the listeners and John and Gerry.More from this show
Jackie Mac joins Mut and Merloni to discuss Rajon Rondo, the Celtics, and the Jacoby Ellsbury deal with the Yankees.More from this show