Oakland Raiders: Would Hue Jackson Pull Another Surprise by Starting Boller?
You've read about it, seen it on television and even had your best friend mention it.
However, the one man who has to make that choice is still keeping it quiet.
Less than a week after landing Carson Palmer in a major trade with the Bengals, ESPN tried to crow about Palmer starting Sunday against the Chiefs. Likewise, in the Insider piece, it seemed a forgone conclusion as most of the plans to stop the Raiders were tailored to stopping Palmer by pressuring him, forcing him to make mistakes, etc.
Hold on a moment, folks. What if Hue Jackson, the master of manipulation and trickery, decides to not start Palmer?
That could lead to a few surprised looks from the Kansas City sidelines.
Sure, the Raiders went out and swapped off two picks for Palmer, a 32-year-old quarterback who hasn't thrown a pass during this NFL season. Likewise, after injuries, this is not the same No. 1 overall pick who the Bengals sat for his first season so he could learn the ropes in Cinci.
No, this is a veteran who comes to the Raiders. Oakland is looking for a long-term solution to the Raiders' passing game issue, but more importantly are looking for a quarterback who will be around and healthy.
Looking around the league, a number of teams are already hurting due to a variety of reasons. Kansas City, for example, has lost key players at tight end and safety. Would it make much sense to put Palmer out there, with less than a full week of practice, and have him get injured?
Who do you like more?
Right now, Kyle Boller has been on the roster since training camp. He might have looked rough against the Browns, but at the same time he hasn't taken that many snaps with the first team, either. Would you be that sharp, getting suddenly dropped into the driver's seat?
For one, Boller is more mobile than Palmer. Granted, that sometimes can lead to fumbles, but it can also lead to first downs when passing protection makes throwing the ball impossible. Second, it would come down to if Hue Jackson feels Boller can put himself into position to help the Raiders win. Be it on the ground, through the air or even ugly, just win.
Lastly, comes the question of passing. Most of us saw Boller miss early on several occasions against Cleveland... but later on in the game, he did have some nice throws.
If Palmer's accuracy becomes a question mark, that pass could become six points for the opposing teams.
Good luck on choosing, Hue.
Just Win, Baby.
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