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Carson Palmer Has Strong Track Record Against Ravens


The Ravens won't be fooled by the lack of stripes.

That's still Carson Palmer under the silver and black.

Even though he's no longer a Cincinnati Bengal, Palmer still has a strong track record against the Ravens and in M&T Bank Stadium.

And Baltimore is preparing for him to air it out Sunday afternoon.

"He is one of those underrated quarterbacks that can make every throw, especially if he gets in a groove," outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said.

"You all saw it when he was in Cincinnati. I remember, vividly, games I thought we had won, and Carson Palmer got in his groove, and he torched us."

Palmer owns a career 9-4 record against the Ravens. He has thrown for 3,202 yards against Baltimore, the most by far against any opposing team.

What Suggs remembers is that he's been clutch, even in M&T Bank Stadium. Palmer drove the Bengals 80 yards in one minute, 53 seconds for a 17-14 win in 2009.

"As you know, he's not going to be intimidated by the environment at all," Head Coach John Harbaugh said.

Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees said that when he started looking at tape of the 32-year-old Palmer, he was expecting to see a quarterback that was "probably diminished a little bit."

"I don't see it. I don't see it," Pees said. "He stands in the pocket. He stands tall. He delivers the ball. I don't see a lot of difference in Carson Palmer now than when we used to play him."

"He manages and operates the offense as well as anybody, and some of the same things he did in Cincinnati, he's doing now," Harbaugh added. "There's not a throw he can't make, and when he's on, he's on time; he can really stick it in a tight window."

The key wording is "when he's on." That's because Palmer has a tendency to be hot and cold.

For example, he's coming off a game against Tampa Bay in which he threw an enormous 61 passes for 414 yards and four touchdowns. But he also threw three interceptions.

The Ravens picked off Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden twice last Sunday. But they could have had more.

Safety Ed Reed, who has 10 career picks against Cincinnati including a 52-yard interception return for a touchdown in 2009, had his hands on two more passes. Cary Williams snagged his fourth in five games and Reed capped the day with his third of the year.

"When you throw 61 passes you see a lot of mistakes too," Williams said. "He's a great quarterback, but we've got to make him pay whenever he throws the ball to us."

So will Palmer throw 61 passes again? It's a possibility in the Ravens' minds.

Oakland may be without its top two running backs, Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson, due to high-ankle sprains. That's what partially led to Palmer throwing so much last week against the Buccaneers.

"I wouldn't be surprised," Pollard said.  "Looking at this team, you've got burners everywhere. You've got burners at every position. We have to control that, we have to be sound in what we're doing and play the scheme."

Pollard is one of many Ravens players who have never faced Palmer, who was traded to the Raiders from Cincinnati midway through last season. They don't know his history with Baltimore.

"He's with a new team. He's with a new cast of guys," Pollard said. "Who cares what he's done with Cincinnati. This guy's going to come in here ready. When you look at what happened last week, the guy's putting up numbers."

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