The Redskins put me in place and remind us all, this is the Raiders
In a previous blog (Bruce Almighty), I stated that I wouldn’t pick on JaMarcus Russell because it had been done to death. Tongue-in-cheek, I added at the end that I was saving that for later. Here we are two blogs removed and unfortunately I have to call him out so soon.
It was sad to see Gradkowski leave the game in the final seconds of the first half with an apparent knee injury. The Raiders, under his watch, were keeping the ball moving, getting everyone involved and playing a tight game defensively to match. In the first half the Raiders were playing well, the game was close and it was a fun game to watch because the team was putting in the effort required to win. In the second half, the entire team seemed to back off the intensity they had showed for 3 games. Bruce’s effort level flowed into the others, and J.R. just doesn’t exude the qualities that promote that feeling. J.R. came in and looked confident, calm and ready to roll, which was exactly what we expected after his public statement of embarrassment earlier in the week. I will say he made 2 nice throws that caught my eye before proceeding to show us how little he had learned in his 3 games on the bench. Maybe I’m being unreasonable, but my expectation of a quarterback is that he moves the ball forward. It seems the rest of Oakland had the same expectation and weren’t shy about voicing their displeasure when he got sacked yet again with the game still close, making the Raiders face 3rd & 35 and taking them out of Janikowski’s FG range (a very difficult task). I hate to say it, but at this point in his career he needs more time on the bench and can’t even be a productive backup, so now we can put up a billboard that explains the concept of ‘pocket presence’.
Onto other things, Nnamdi Asomugha left the game as well when he hurt his right forearm. The injury didn’t sound too serious from all reports, but we will just have to wait and see if he and Gradkowski will be ready to go for the next game.
1. QB – Jason Campbell – 222 YDS, 2 TD’s and a good job controlling the flow of the game.
2. K – Shane Lechler – A long of 68 YDS and some incredible field position that led to nothing.
3. RB – Quinton Ganther – 50 YDS on 14 carries isn’t much but he was clutch with 2 big TD’s
Game Ball – Oakland Fans
I wanted to issue a game ball award to a special Raider player, and there were definite some options on special teams with some great kicking from both Lechler and Janikowsk, but this time I’m going with the Raider Nation for booing JaMarcus Russell several times after he came in. These fans might be not be coming to the stadium, but I bet they booed all over the globe.
Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos – Dec 20, 2009; 1:05 PST
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Written by Luke Mirza