ATLANTA -- Carson Palmer had just completed 23 of 33 passes for 353 yards and a touchdown, led his team to a tying touchdown inside of a minute to play ... and couldn't stop apologizing.

Following a 23-20 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday at the Georgia Dome, Palmer took the blame for a 79-yard interception return by Asante Samuel that put the Raiders behind by seven points with 2:40 to play just when they appeared to be in position to take the lead.

"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's my fault."

Reminded that he then led the Raiders on an 80-yard drive to tie the score 20-20, Palmer said, "There are no moral victories in this game. There's wins and losses, and that's a loss. It's on my shoulders."

Palmer, throwing to his right on third-and-6 from the Atlanta 28, was surprised to see Samuel jump the route intended for Denarius Moore and angry that he failed to tackle him at the 20-yard line.

"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."

Samuel said he was crossed up with safety William Moore on the play, "so I just said forget it. I said I'm going to do whatever I think. ... I just made a good read and broke on it."


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Defensive tackle Richard Seymour thought the post-interception touchdown drive engineered by Palmer "showed the heart of a champion." Running back Mike Goodson said there was no change in demeanor in the Oakland huddle.

"There was no difference." Goodson said. "There was still time on the clock, so we had a chance."

  • Defensive end John Abraham was more than Raiders tackles Willie Smith and Jared Veldheer could handle, getting all three Falcons sacks and forcing a fumble by Palmer on a blindside hit that set up a field goal.

    Abraham played on the left and right sides, with an eye on the more inexperienced Smith.

    "I felt like I could have a big day," Abraham said. "They had a younger tackle who I knew I could rattle early."

  • The Raiders committed 12 penalties for 110 yards, hearkening to their record-setting season a year ago in both categories.

    Smith was called for holding twice, Marcel Reece once, and the Raiders had some decent rushing gains nullified -- including one in which Darren McFadden flattened Atlanta safety Thomas DeCoud.

    "Obviously penalties affected us, and we've got to clean that up," coach Dennis Allen said.

  • Moore caught five passes for 104 yards, the first Raiders receiver to break 100 yards this season. He caught a 49-yard deep pass from Palmer as well as a 25-yard touchdown in which he ducked under a head-high hit by Mike Peterson and cut inside for the score.

    "It's just the coach calling the right plays, myself getting open, and Carson and I working together," Moore said.

  • The Raiders rushed for a season-high 149 yards on 32 carries, with big gains coming on a 43-yard burst by Mike Goodson (59 yards on four carries) and a 20-yard reverse by Darrius Heyward-Bey.

    McFadden had to work for his yardage, needing 27 carries to gain 70 yards.

    Goodson said the Raiders didn't change their zone blocking scheme but executed it better.

  • The loss was the Raiders' 10th in a row coming off a bye, the most by an NFL team since byes were instituted in 1990.

  • Raiders right guard Mike Brisiel left with a head injury in the first half and did not return. He was replaced by Alex Parsons.