Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell completed 14 of 22 passes for 109 yards, with no touchdowns, one interception and one fumble in Sunday’s loss to the Chargers.
Those aren’t exactly stellar numbers, but Russell was satisfied with the way he played.
“I did a pretty good job,” Russell said after the game. “When it all boils down to it, you had a chance at the end to try and win. Didn’t do too much damage with the interception. No matter what happened, I think we came out and fought despite the score and just kept pushing and just came out short in the end.”
By completing 63.6 percent of his passes on Sunday, Russell had his most accurate game of the year. But that sounds a lot less impressive when you consider that Russell almost exclusively dumped off short passes to tight ends and running backs — he only completed two passes to wide receivers all day. When the Raiders chose Russell with the first pick in the NFL draft, his ability to throw the deep ball was supposed to be one of his strengths. He hasn’t shown that yet in Oakland.
Still, coach Tom Cable thinks Russell showed progress.
“I thought he did some really good things that way today,” Cable said. “Very much seemed to be in control today. A couple of throws he’d probably like to have over again but for the most part he gave us a chance to win today and that’s what you ask your quarterback to do.”
Actually, most teams ask their quarterbacks to win — not just to give the team a chance to win. In Oakland, however, Russell’s play has led to lowered expectations.