Oakland-Denver: Will the Real JaMarcus Russell Step Forward?

Raider Card Addict@RaidercardadictSenior Writer IDecember 22, 2009

DENVER - DECEMBER 20:  Quarterback JaMarcus Russell #2 of the Oakland Raiders drops back to pass against the Denver Broncos in the fourth quarter at Invesco Field at Mile High on December 20, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Raiders defeated the Broncos 20-19.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Like many Raider fans who tuned in for the game Sunday, they started out watching Charlie Frye have a decent day throwing against Denver.

While he wasn't overpowering, the offense seemed to operate more smoothly, picking up a couple yards here, a couple there. Oakland managed to take a lead into the half, 13-6.

Denver, in the third quarter, would storm back, putting up 10 points, while Oakland had a golden opportunity to end the quarter but came away with no points at the one-yard line.

The running game was potent, with Michael Bush and Darren McFadden combining for over 200 yards.

And like a good portion of the Raider Nation, we were horrified when Frye was knocked out of the game by a hard hit, leading to JaMarcus Russell's appearance in the fourth quarter.

A week earlier, Russell had to come in for Bruce Gradkowski, and was perfectly horrible. Against a blitzing offense, the Redskins manhandled the Raiders at home and sent the Raiders to our ninth loss of the season.

Somewhere along the lines Russell discovered that, for him to succeed, he would have to get a little backbone.

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It wasn't easy, by any means. Russell himself was knocked around, left the game, and then came back in for a key completion on a 4th-and-10.

Slowly, Russell would march the Raiders down the field, until he found Chaz Schilens for a game-winning touchdown.

In Denver, of all places.

Now, this begs the question. Where was this Russell, last week?

The previous week, Russell had been sacked six times, with 10 completions and 74 yards. After the yardage lost from sacks, he had a total of 22 yards. This was comprised of the entire second half of the game.

This week, Russell came in and had five completions for 47 yards and one sack...that was 13 yards in damage, but it came with a touchdown, late in the game to pull out a win.

Does this mean Russell is good only as a closer, but shouldn't start?

Could the Raiders actually work better with a rotation that looks more like Major League Baseball than the National Football League?

As it stands, and if Charlie Frye is healthy enough, he would get the nod, according to Tom Cable.

But if Russell has to come in...would we get the winning QB from Denver's game, or the sack machine against the Redskins?

I'm hoping if he is needed, let him play, and give him the time to throw.

If not, get a mobile QB out there...mix it up as needed.