Carson Palmer's new beginning
Carson Palmer finished the 2012 regular season with 4,081 yards and 22 TDs.
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A 4-12 season after consecutive 8-8 finishes is not what the Raiders expected, certainly not their fans. But even such a disappointing season has to have some positive moments, right? RIGHT?!? As such, we went down the list and handed out some cyber hardware.
Yes, #PalmersFault took off in the Twitterverse this season, blaming Carson Palmer for any and all ill that befell the Raiders, and anyone with a lick of sense knew it was meant in jest. Because really, not only was Palmer the least of Oakland's problems, he was the most consistent thing going for them behind a leaky line, just as undependable wide receivers and a running back who just could not get untracked. The vicious hit he took in the first quarter of the season's penultimate game not only cracked ribs and bruised a lung, but also kept him out of the final seven quarters of the year.
And still, Palmer became just the second Raiders quarterback in franchise history to pass for more than 4,000 yards as he finished with 4,018 yards with 22 touchdowns and 14 interceptions on 61.1 percent passing (345 of 565) for a QB rating of 85.3, his highest since 2007.
Perhaps the most impressive thing Palmer did all year, though, was act as a mentor and father figure for Terrelle Pryor while not being threatened. Palmer restructured his contract last offseason and is reportedly due to make $13 million in 2013, with a salary cap number of $16.8 million.