ALAMEDA -- In the world of fantasy football, it's a dream matchup.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees leads the NFL with 2,847 yards passing, is tied for the lead with 25 touchdowns and is operating against a 23rd-ranked Raiders defense that has given up 97 points in its past two games.
Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer is third in the NFL with 2,723 yards passing and has thrown for 15 touchdowns, and is facing a 32nd-ranked Saints defense that has given up 300 or more yards passing in a game seven times.
He is likely playing without the top two running backs on the depth chart in Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson, both out of practice with high ankle sprains.
If you're curious, the league record for net passing yards in a game (subtracting sack yardage) was set in last season's regular-season finale with Green Bay beating Detroit 45-41, with Packers backup Matt Flynn throwing for 480 yards and six touchdowns and the Lions' Matthew Stafford racking up 520 yards and five touchdowns.
In terms of passing offense, all things are possible when the Raiders host the Saints on Sunday. Even Norm Van Brocklin's 554-yard standard for the Los Angeles Rams seems up for grabs.
Not so fast, said Raiders coach Dennis Allen.
"A lot of times (games) turn out different than what people think," Allen said. "You don't know what's going to happen until you get out there on Sunday and you have to make adjustments to what's happening during the game. We're preparing for whatever comes at us. I'm sure they are."
With Brees having an ongoing NFL record of 52 consecutive games with a touchdown pass, as well as being the only quarterback to have 20 or more completions in 45 straight games, the Raiders can be fairly certain the Saints won't be running the option. The Saints are 4-5 after starting the season 0-4.
Brees is 6-0 against the Raiders with 1,248 yards passing, 13 touchdowns and no interceptions as a member of the Saints and Chargers. Palmer's two games with Cincinnati against New Orleans have resulted in 524 yards passing, four touchdowns, one interception and a 114.5 passer rating. It is Palmer's first game against New Orleans with the 3-6 Raiders.
"He's just like me in that, every time you touch the ball, you feel like you're going to score," Brees said Wednesday by conference call. "That's just the mentality, regardless of what the defense is doing. You're focused on scoring execution and trying to score every time you touch the ball. That's the aggressive mentality we play with."
Being aggressive is fine, but Palmer warned against being forced into mistakes by trying to keep up score-for-score with an opponent that keeps scoring touchdowns.
"When the opposing offense is scoring fast, often it puts a lot of stress on you," Palmer said. "You can't get in situations, especially early in the game, where you try to fit balls in certain spots. You can be down by seven and before you know it you try things that get you down by 14 or 21.
"When you get in the third or fourth quarters things can change, but in the first half you have to be efficient and know when to say when."
Saints coach Joe Vitt, taking over for this season while Sean Payton is under suspension, has known Palmer since his son was a wide receiver on the same high school team at Rancho Santa Margarita.
"He's big, can see the field, he's got great vision, there's not a coverage he can't throw into, there's not a coverage he hasn't seen," Vitt said by conference call. "He's on course to break the all-time Raider single-season passing record. There are some pretty good quarterbacks that have come through there and played well, so Carson's having a great year."
Allen has a Super Bowl ring as a Saints assistant from 2006 through 2010, in large part because of Brees. When asked what makes him special, Allen said, "It's hard to put your finger on one thing. He's the ultimate competitor. He prepares as well as anyone I've ever seen. He's got outstanding football instincts and intelligence, and he's as accurate a passer as I've seen."
New Orleans (4-5) at Raiders (3-6), 1:05 p.m., FOX