Raiders drop 12th straight as former QB Carson Palmer throws 2 TDs in Cardinals 24-13 win

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OAKLAND, California — There have been plenty of low points in a decade of losing for the Oakland Raiders.

This just might be the lowest one yet.

Carson Palmer threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns in his return to Oakland and the Arizona Cardinals sent the Raiders to their 12th straight loss with a 24-13 victory Sunday.

The Raiders (0-6) have not won a game in more than 11 months and are off to their worst start since losing their first 13 games in 1962 — the year before late owner Al Davis joined the franchise.

"This is as bad as you're going to get through the first part of the season," safety Charles Woodson said. "We haven't won a game. How much worse can it get than that, than not winning a game?"

There are still 10 games left for Woodson to get an answer to that question. The Raiders have already fired coach Dennis Allen and are left with few options to turn this season around.

Oakland has not had a winning record or playoff berth since 2002 in a dismal stretch for a franchise once known for winning.

"I think that our kids are starting to believe they're close, but that's a consolation right now," interim coach Tony Sparano said.

"It's not good enough. It's not good enough for our fans. It's not good enough for our owner. It's not good enough for the kids in that locker room. We've got to win one of these type of football games."

While the Raiders are the NFL's only winless team and in the midst of their worst stretch in more than a half-century, the first-place Cardinals (5-1) are off to their best start since 1976.

Stepfan Taylor caught one touchdown and ran for another and Andre Ellington gained 160 yards from scrimmage to lead the way on offense.

"It's just good to be in the driver's seat in our division," receiver Larry Fitzgerald said.

Palmer and a stingy defense are the big reasons for Arizona's success. Despite throwing Arizona's first interception of the season, Palmer has mostly avoided the big mistakes that often doomed him during his year and a half in Oakland.

He also has shown the ability to make the key throw, with his two biggest being a 33-yard touchdown pass to Michael Floyd in the second quarter and a 22-yarder to John Brown on third-and-8 late in the fourth.

That set up Chandler Catanzaro's 41-yard field goal that sealed the win with 29 seconds to go as Palmer won in his first game here since being traded following the 2012 season.

"It's a great environment to play," Palmer said. "This place is awesome. This place is great when you're wearing the silver and black and it's a great place to play as an opponent. Great to get in here and get a win.

Ellington, who was slowed by a rib injury, had 24 carries for 88 yards and caught six passes for 72 more yards.

Rookie Derek Carr struggled to find the big plays he had last week when he threw four touchdown passes in a 31-28 loss to San Diego. He hit one deep pass to Brice Butler, but most of his other completions were short. Carr went 16 for 28 for 173 yards.

The Raiders fell behind 14-0 early, but cut it to 14-13 midway through the third quarter when Sebastian Janikowski hit a 53-yard field goal with new holder Matt Schaub.

The Raiders made the switch after Janikowski struggled with punter Marquette King and then missed a 53-yard field goal last week.

Ellington then keyed a big drive for Arizona, running for 40 yards, catching a 16-yard pass and drawing a 20-yard pass interference penalty on Miles Burris. Taylor replaced him and scored on a 4-yard run.

The Raiders were unable to cross midfield on their final three drives and lost again.

Palmer got off to a fast start, throwing the two first-half touchdowns, including Floyd's leaping grab over Tarell Brown. The Cardinals picked Oakland apart on third downs, converting 9 of 14 chances.

"It's like one of those things where you don't know what the problem is," defensive tackle Antonio Smith said. "Each week you're going in trying to fix something and each week you wonder why it's not working."

But Carr got the Raiders back into it with a 55-yard deep strike to Butler that set up Darren McFadden's 1-yard score. Janikowski added a field goal late in the first half after Charles Woodson intercepted Palmer.

NOTES: Catanzaro tied Greg Zuerlein's rookie record by making his 15th straight kick to start his career. ... Raiders safety Usama Young left the game with an injured left knee.


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