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Tribal Warfare
09-20-2009, 11:47 PM
Raiders QB Russell has a happy ending to an ugly day (http://www.kansascity.com/sports/chiefs/story/1458240.html)
By RANDY COVITZ
The Kansas City Star

Oakland Raiders coach Tom Cable never considering pulling quarterback JaMarcus Russell.

He could have yanked him at halftime, after Russell completed just three of 12 passes for 42 yards. He could have done it in the fourth quarter when Russell was incomplete on all five of his pass attempts, and the Raiders went three-and-out in six of their first eight possessions.

But there was something in Russell’s eyes that convinced Cable to stick with his struggling quarterback in the final minutes against the Chiefs on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.

“I really can’t explain it;” Cable said. “He was just really out of rhythm. We talked about the last series before he went out on the field from the sideline, and he looked as wide-eyed and ready to go as he did all game.”

And in a 91-second span in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter, Russell completed more passes (four) for more yards (67) than he had all game, leading the Raiders to a 13-10 win over the Chiefs.

“It’s as poor as you can play offensively and still find a way to win a football game,” Cable said. “All of a sudden, JaMarcus Russell is in total control, he’s on time, got some decent protection, the guys ran good routes, caught passes. …We won the football game; that’s what matters here.”

The Chiefs seemingly were in command after taking a 10-6 lead when Russell’s former LSU teammate Dwayne Bowe caught a 29-yard touchdown pass with 2:38 left.

But Russell overcame a false start by hitting Louis Murphy with a 19-yard completion. He overcame third and 15 at the Chiefs 42 with a 28-yard strike down the middle to Todd Watkins. And Russell’s 9-yarder to Darren McFadden set up McFadden’s game-winning 5-yard touchdown run with 1:07 left.

Russell finished the day with a hideous stat sheet: seven completions in 24 attempts for 109 yards and a passer rating of 46.0 Yet he became just the second NFL quarterback since 1997 to win a game despite completing fewer than 30 percent of his passes.

“I never thought about (coming out),” Russell said. “I know that I’m the guy. … I stayed on an even keel. I knew we left plays out there on previous drives. On those three-and-outs, it was something they were doing, and something we’re doing to ourselves as well.

“The best I can do from that is go on the sidelines, chart things up and take it from there. I’m never worried about a coach taking me out. That’s not what I’m here for.”

In two games this season, Russell, the first overall pick of the 2007 draft, has completed just 35.2 percent of his passes and has an unsightly 46.6 passer rating. But like his coach, Russell’s teammates still believe in him.

“The quarterback has to have a short memory,” McFadden said. “You have to forget about the last play and make the next play, and that is what he did coming down the stretch.”

DeezNutz
09-20-2009, 11:50 PM
Where did he get the happy ending?