Does JaMarcus Russel Get a Reprieve From Raider Nation?
Not from this Raider fan.
The Raiders final drive went 62 yards in 3:02, and with my heart pounding in my chest, culminated in a 10-yard touchdown pass. Another Raiders finale that probably took a few years off my life (they've been making it a habit the past few weeks). It opened with a Jamarcus sack and fumble, luckily recovered by Oakland. Then a pass interference call which took up almost half of the distance to the goal line. Three consecutive incompletion's and the Raiders have 4th-and-10.
Now a lot of the articles I've read say this is where Jamarcus stepped up and won the game by going 4 of 5 including the touchdown. But without some great efforts by recievers (Tony Stewart and Chaz Schilens), this game ends very differently. Stewart catches the ball two yards shy of the first down and fights through the cornerback to keep the game alive, while Chaz scoops up a horribly thrown ball at the 10 to set up first and goal, and fights through a tackle to get into the endzone rather than being two yards short.
Russel (barely) got them the ball, and (sadly) that's an improvement over last week. Poorly thrown passes over the middle do two things; Get intercepted, or get your recievers killed (Louis Murphy and Johnnie Lee Higgins can attest to that).
Two weeks ago I saw Bruce Gradkowski do the same thing three times, though much cleaner, with more style, and a ton more enthusiasm. So while this one drive gave the Raiders a win, which always brightens my day, I saw nothing there to indicate change worth the future cost.
Good job Jamarcus, congratulations on the win, build on that in your future, which, hopefully, isn't under center in Oakland.
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