Is JaMarcus Russell Ready To Step Up Against KC: AFC West: QB News

Bret ArmstrongAnalyst ISeptember 19, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 14:  JaMarcus Russell #2 of the Oakland Raiders passes the ball during their game against the San Diego Chargers on September 14, 2009 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

I want to take this opportunity to express my beliefs for week two of JaMarcus Russell's third go around. I think this game will provide a small glimpse into the future of the Raiders franchise.

I predict JaMarcus' first 300 yard passing game of the season. So far, in 20 games, JaMarcus has completed 53 percent of his passes. On Sunday, he will complete at least 65 percent.

So far, in 20 games, he has passed for just 3,004 yards. That is an average of about 150 yards per game. Against the Chiefs, he will throw for over 300 yards.

Twenty games down, and JaMarcus has thrown 16 touchdowns; under one per game. On Sunday, I predict he will throw at least three.

I'm not going to get all analytical, and explain why. I am simply going to say that it will happen.

Just ask JaMarcus, who said in a recent interview, "To all the Raider fans, just know that we are busting our tails each and every day. Keep up the great support that you guys have for us, and know that things will change."

I think JaMarcus is motivated to prove himself after the game he should've had against San Diego. I think Dwane Bowe's remarks have lit a fire under him.

Against the Chiefs, I expect JMR will give you a little taste of what is to come in Oakland.

Phillip Rivers, the counterpart of JaMarcus in Week One, was fined $7,500 for his taunting of Raiders defensive tackle Gerard Warren.

This is fitting of Rivers personality. Some would say he is a bit of a loose cannon with his mouth. He has been lucky so far to stay away from the fine police.

He will be lucky in the future if the Raiders massive D-lineman doesn't try to tear his head off. I don't think that is a guy you want to make mad Phillip.

I'm sure Warren will play inspired against the Chargers at the Q, and study some extra film that week to make an everlasting impression on Mr. Rivers. Rivers, perhaps, is not done paying for his childish demeanor on Monday Night Football.

The Chiefs have yet to disclose the status of Matt Cassell for Week Two against Oakland. They are sticking to the line that he is a gametime decision.

It shouldn't matter who is playing quarterback for Kansas City on Sunday, with the way the defense played for the first 57 minutes against San Diego. Word on the street is that the Raiders prepared like they expected Cassell to play; good move coaches.

Cassell is rumored to have better mobility this week in practice. Perhaps coach Todd Haley is expecting a game-time decision to motivate his players to victory.

Unfortunatly for Cassell, he has limited weapons this time against the Raiders, unlike last year with the Patriots. He did prove he could run in that Patriots-Raiders game though.

But with a banged up knee, I'm not sure Haley should start him. I have a feeling he will be running for his life a lot this weekend. The Raiders defense was their strength last week, and with Richard Seymour getting more used to his line mates this week, and vice versa, I'm not sure it is worth the risk of losing the "franchise quarterback" this early in the year.

Myself, I sort of hope they get bold.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.