AccuScore: Impact of Carson Palmer trade

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Jason Campbell(notes) suffered what is expected to be a season-ending injury on Sunday for the Oakland Raiders. While the Raiders still got the win, moving to 4-2, the loss of Campbell put a real damper on their playoff chances.

Oakland, currently half a game behind the San Diego Chargers in the AFC West, is looking to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2002 season. A few hours before Tuesday’s trading deadline, the Raiders dealt a first- and second-round pick (one in 2012 and the other in 2013) to the Cincinnati Bengals for Carson Palmer(notes).

[* Yahoo! Sports Radio: Flores on Raiders’ big deal]

The Raiders were obviously unsatisfied with the prospects of having Kyle Boller(notes) as its starting quarterback for the remainder of the season and decided to look outside the organization for help.

The table below shows three different scenarios for the remainder of the Raiders’ season: the first is if Kyle Boller started the rest of the season; the second is if Jason Campbell never got injured; and the last is if Carson Palmer starts in Week 9 after Oakland’s bye week. These projections show that Oakland made a good decision (for this season, anyhow).

Player Victories Playoff chances Division title chances
Kyle Boller 4.5 31.4% 15.8%
Jason Campbell 5.3 50.7% 29.6%
Carson Palmer 5.4 51.2% 30.7%
Had Campbell never broken his collarbone, the Raiders would have had a 50.7 percent chance of making the playoffs and just under a 30 percent chance of winning the division. Boller is the worst quarterback option for the Raiders going forward, as their playoff chances dwindle to 31.4 percent with him taking the snaps. Palmer, however, is a different story. With Palmer behind center, Oakland’s winning, playoff and division-winning percentages all rise, even topping those of Campbell.

[ Related: Hue Jackson calling shots in Oakland ]

The issue is integrating Carson Palmer into the Raiders system after six weeks of play. These projections are contingent on any player assimilating quickly and seamlessly as a part of the offense. If Palmer adapts quickly, the Raiders could be better off with him than with a healthy Campbell.

Luckily for Palmer, coach Hue Jackson won’t be asking Palmer to win games with his arm as the Raiders rely on their running game led by the league’s leading rusher Darren McFadden(notes). Palmer’s job will be to manage the offense and keep turnovers to a minimum, which should make his transition into the offense easier than if the Raiders relied on the pass.

Whether or not Palmer was worth the two draft picks is a question that will linger over the remainder of the season and into the future.

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