In a span of eight days, Jason Campbell put up both the worst performance and the best performance of his five year career.
Campbell registered a whopping 10.7 quarterback rating and looked terrible in the Oakland Raiders humiliating loss to the San Francisco 49ers. It appeared as though the Raiders would be unable to win without the scrappy Bruce Gradkowski at quarterback and had some fans calling for third string quarterback Kyle Boller to get the start against the Denver Broncos if Gradkowski still couldn't go.
Then, on a day when nothing could go wrong for the Raiders, even Jason Campbell was struck with the golden touch. He completed 60 percent of his passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns on his way to a quarterback rating of 127.9, the best rating he's received in his career.
Campbell's success was undoubtedly due in a large part to the fact that the Raiders established a big lead early and because Darren McFadden was unstoppable all day long. However, Campbell just looked like a different player on Sunday. It was almost as though something finally clicked for him.
Earlier in the season, Campbell never looked comfortable in the pocket. He would hesitate and hold onto the ball for far too long and either get sacked or make his check down throw far too late, setting his receiver up for a big hit. On Sunday, Campbell looked much more confident, made quick decisions and trusted his receivers.
During the week, coach Tom Cable had told the quarterbacks that whoever was going to play needed to cut it loose and trust their instincts. Additionally, offensive coordinator Hue Jackson told Campbell that he needed to stop worrying about being perfect and just play the game.
Apparently Campbell understood the advice and took it to heart as he finally looked like the quarterback that the Raiders thought they had when they traded for him.
Jackson was right, Campbell does not need to be perfect. If McFadden is able to stay healthy, he just might be the best runningback in the NFL this season. With a running game like that, Campbell doesn't need to be perfect, he just needs to play above average and protect the ball.
Coach Cable has stated that Gradkowski will remain the starter when he gets healthy. However, we still do not know if he will be able to play next week, and there is always the potential for more injuries. If Campbell continues to trust his instincts and make quick decisions, the Raiders should consider themselves lucky to have two quarterbacks capable of leading this team to wins.