Carson Palmer vs. the Buccaneers


The Buccaneers haven’t played the Raiders since 2008, so they haven’t played Carson Palmer’s Raiders at all.  Oakland traded for their current starting quarterback midway through the 2011 season after he had spend eight-plus years with the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Buccaneers do have a history with Palmer, however, and it has gone well for Tampa Bay.

Palmer led the Bengals against the Bucs twice during his tenure in Cincinnati, and both games ended up as Tampa Bay wins, though it took a fourth-quarter comeback on each occasion.  The Bucs won 14-13 at Raymond James Stadium in 2006 when Bruce Gradkowski hooked up with Michael Clayton on an eight-yard touchdown pass with 35 seconds remaining.  Four years later, in Cincinnati, Connor Barth’s 31-yard field goal with 13-seconds left completed a 10-point rally in a 24-21 Bucs victory.

In his two games against the Buccaneers, Palmer has thrown for a good amount of yards but has needed a lot of passes to do it and has been picked off three times.  Overall, he’s 45 of 73 (61.6%) for 470 yards, three touchdowns, three interceptions and an unremarkable 76.9 passer rating.  His average of 6.44 yards per pass attempt against Tampa Bay is well below his career mark of 7.18.

One of those three picks Palmer has thrown against the Buccaneers ranks as one of the team’s most memorable defensive plays of the last few years, and it’s certainly a career highlight for now-third-year safety Cody Grimm.

Early in the second quarter of just his second career start, Grimm intercepted Palmer’s attempt to throw a quick pass out in the left flat to wide receiver Terrell Owens.  The then-rookie safety caught the ball on the run and easily returned it 11 yards to tie the game at 7-7.  Grimm did a perfect job of executing a specific play the team had put in just for that game, as he feigned walking down “into the box” for run support, then sprinted out to the sideline as soon as the ball was snapped.  The play essentially inverted the safety and the cornerback (Aqib Talib) in the Bucs’ classic Cover Two defense, in the process leading Palmer and Owens to believe they had an easy “pitch-and-catch” option underneath Talib.  (You can watch a video of Grimm’s big moment here.)

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