The substitution was something of a lateral move that likely had Palmer pining for the comfort of his living room couch. His anticipated return netted just 116 yards and three interceptions in about two quarters of play.
With just three days of practice to digest Oakland's playbook, it comes as no surprise that Palmer had a forgettable day, but the Chiefs' defense deserves some kudos for their performance Sunday. Their six-interception performance was the most by a Kansas City defense since 1984.
Despite losing one of their best defensive players in emerging star safety Eric Berry, this Chiefs secondary never allowed either Raider quarterback to find a groove.
Brandon Flowers, who the Chiefs recently gave a $50 million pay raise, played his best game of the season with two interceptions. But it wasn't just the Chiefs' expensive players who earned their paycheck this week. Fellow defensive backs Brandon Carr and Travis Daniels each added their own interception.
The real over achievers of the day were safeties Jon McGraw and Kendrick Lewis. Neither has played well this season with the absence of Berry, but both elevated their play Sunday. In the case of Lewis, he turned his takeaway into six points with a sideline tightrope scamper.
Kansas City's secondary now has 11 interceptions on the season and is just beginning to hit their stride. Coming into the season, the Chiefs had a chance to boast one of the league's best young secondaries with Flowers and Carr on the outside and Lewis and Berry patrolling the middle of the field. But with the injury to Berry, Chiefs' defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel was forced to adapt. After seven weeks, the necessary adjustments seem to be taking hold.
The Chiefs' defense pitched their first shutout since 2006 and now have played six straight scoreless quarters. With a steadily improving front seven, KC's secondary could still be one of the strengths of this team.
Despite the thief performance, the Chiefs' secondary is not likely to be the talk of the football world this coming week. Rather, the value of the Palmer trade will again dominate the headlines. But it's doubtful you will hear any complaints from the Chiefs.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
What was your favorite interception of the day?
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