Now, after spitting coffee all over the monitor (or Eggnog), let me state something simple. No, I don't imagine Jason Campbell is going to be an awesome QB that will lead the Raiders to several playoff berths in quick fashion, or lose 16 games in seven seasons.
What it relates to, is that when Daryle Lamonica came to the Raiders, he wasn't exactly treated kindly by the fans out there. For those of you who have no idea who Lamonica was, here's a quick recap.
Lamonica started out with the Buffalo Bills, after getting drafted by both the Green Bay Packers and the Bills in 1963. In Buffalo he would only start four games, stuck behind Jack Kemp and for his first season spent time as the team's punter, kicking 52 times for a 40.1 yard average.
Al Davis, in an effort to shake things up for the Raiders in the 1967 season traded off Tom Flores, a local fan favorite along with Art Powell. The Bills tossed Glenn Bass into the mix, but the key players, Flores and Lamonica, had unique results. Flores, who started 63 games out of 84 for the Raiders would only start four more games in three years as a backup in Buffalo and Kansas City.
Daryle Lamonica would go on to win 62 games as a Raider, including two seasons when he would lose only one game each year, taking the team to their first Super Bowl appearance against the Green Bay Packers.
During his first season in 1967, Lamonica would go 13-1 with 30 touchdowns, 3228 yards passing and helped the Raiders win 11 straight games at one point.
Fans though early on would actually boo this guy.
For some, it was the change of pace from Flores, a guy they had come to love over the first seven years in existence, to a guy who had been a backup for a rival...Al, how could you?
For others, it seemed justified. Even though Oakland won 51-0 in their first game against Denver, Lamonica threw one TD and one INT with 118 yards.
The second game in, Lamonica seemed a little better—three TDs with 251 yards—against former Raider Babe Parilli, winning 35-7 over the Boston Patriots.
For the third game, Lamonica would have two TDs with a single INT to go with 236 yards, and Oakland would have a three game winning streak, winning by two points in a close match, 23-21 over the Chiefs.
Probably the one game the fans would have been justified in booing some, would have been his four INT performance in front of a hostile crown in New York. He would get two TDs, but the Raiders would lose 27-14. It might have shaken his confidence a little, as Lamonica would throw another four INTs in his next game against the Bills. However the team would pull out a 24-20 win on the road in Buffalo.
How does any of this relate to Jason Campbell?
For one, Jason came to the Raiders from a team in complete chaos. Some might say from a situation worse than Oakland has had, with offensive coordinators and head coaches. Picture an Al Davis-wannabe but younger and richer. Dropped into Oakland, Jason would be starting over again, with an entirely new team, system and style.
He would hit some bumps in the road. Most telling was the Week 1 debacle against the Titans, followed up by the benching against the Rams when Bruce Gradkowski came in to replace him.
Fan favorite versus new kid in town. Sound familiar?
Now as the season progressed, Jason had some bright moments. He lit up the Denver Broncos, passing for two touchdowns and 204 yards passing, while both the running game and the defense made Denver look like a high school club.
This was a week after the same Campbell had fans booing in a loss to the Bay Area rival 49ers...same Campbell, who tossed for 83 yards and two INTs. How much of this was Campbell's fault and how much of it was the coaching staff's fault?
Jason has had to deal with the boo-birds early in the season, and while he hasn't been perfect, he's been gutsy. He came in during the Raiders Week 5 matchup against the Chargers, when Bruce was hurt and had only one pass completed in seven attempts.
The Raiders won 35-27, ending a streak of 13 games.
While some games have been ugly, like the Steelers loss, the Titans shellacking to start the season or the 49ers fumble, he's 4-0 at home when he's started.
More importantly...he's 5-0 against the AFC West.