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Raiders' Palmer takes responsibility for loss after late pick-six

The SportsXchange

Quarterback Carson Palmer was pointing the finger of blame at himself following the Oakland Raiders' 23-20 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

In a taut 13-13 game with less than three minutes to go, Palmer had the Raiders in position for a field goal or touchdown with less than three minutes to play.

It was then, however, that Palmer, on third-and-6 from the Atlanta 28-yard line, thought he had Denarius Moore open on the right side for a first down.

Atlanta cornerback Asante Samuel jumped the route and raced 79 yards for a touchdown to give the Falcons a 20-13 lead with 2:40 remaining, with the final indignity coming when Palmer couldn't make the tackle near the Oakland 10-yard line.

"We had a great game plan and I let the team down, I let the fans down," Palmer said. "Making the mistake I made was crucial. It was my fault."

When reminded that he subsequently led an 80-yard touchdown drive in eight plays in two minutes to tie the game at 20-20, Palmer couldn't be dissuaded in the blame game.

"There are no moral victories in this game," Palmer said. "There are wins and losses, and that's a loss. It's on my shoulders."

Samuel said afterward he had confused coverages with safety William Moore, and he simply opted to go his own way and guessed correctly.

"I didn't think he was going to make the play he did," Palmer said. "Give him credit, he made a good play, but I can't put us in that position. I've got to at least make the tackle. It's a mistake I can't make, and it's a mistake I made that cost us the game."

Raiders coach Dennis Allen conceded Palmer would have liked to have the interception back. However, Allen was pleased with the way his quarterback brought the team back and with the team's productive passing game overall.

"He faced some pressure today, but for the most part I thought he executed really well," Allen said.

Oakland defensive tackle Richard Seymour said the drive by the offense to tie the game after the interception displayed "the heart of a champion. Those are the guys you want on your team, who don't quit until the game is over."
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