Bengals pound Palmer, Raiders
CINCINNATI — 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. And the rest of the Raiders, too.
Andy Dalton threw three touchdown passes, and the Cincinnati Bengals showed they've moved on without their franchise quarterback, beating the Raiders, 34-10, on Sunday.
“Not a lot went right, from start to finish,” Palmer said.
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.
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 (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.”
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.
Coach Dennis Allen liked the way his team regrouped after the terrible first half, but didn't condone the brawl.
“I think it's OK to play with anger,” Allen said. “But we've got to play with poise and composure. We lost our poise a little bit.”
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.