Russell’s late TD drives a Raider rarity


We can all agree a 35.2 percent completion percentage is off-the-charts awful no matter the circumstances.

Whether it’s rookie receivers, poor-play calling, pass protection or any excuse you want to name, if you’re two games into the season and need to complete your next 16 consecutive passes just to get to 50 percent, it’s a crisis.

That much became clear today during an on-line chat which predictably became a breakdown and a beatdown of the Raiders No. 1 overall draft pick. Wise columnists from the beginning of time urge, “When in doubt, write about the quarterback,” because it’s always a point of interest among readers.

Especially so when it’s your guy who may as well be launching SCUD missiles at mosquitos.

We’ve seen this act before to varying degrees. Russell has a 10-for-28, a 6-for-19 and a 13-for-35 on his resume from last season and went 7-for-23 as a rookie. So going 19-for-54 to start 2008 isn’t exactly “Dog bites Vick” in terms of a storyline. During the mandatory minicamp and OTA sessions open to the media, I wrote daily of Russell’s struggles with even the most basic pass plays, often against no defense.

It’s also true he seemed to pull out of it toward the end of training camp, as he did last season with his last seven games at 61.1 percent (93-for-152, including the 10-for-28 game against San Diego).

Russell will either get better or he’ll be out of the league.

He got lucky against Kansas City in that a potential pick or three was dropped, including one which could have been a backbreaking touchdown.

However, in the last two weeks, Russell has been the quarterback of a team that was behind, and then put them back in the lead with a touchdown drive with less than three minutes to play in the game.

Curious to see how often that’s happened with the Raiders of late, I searched through the game books on NFL.com, which are available on-line back to the 2001 season.

The situation I described above _ a touchdown drive to put the trailing Raiders ahead with less than three minutes to play _ happened exactly once in 128 games from 2001 through 2008. Russell has done it in back-to-back weeks.

The quarterback was Kerry Collins, who capped an 84-yard, 14-play drive with a 7-yard pass to Randy Moss with 1:45 left in the fourth quarter, giving the Raiders a 23-20 lead against the Chiefs at Arrowhead on Nov. 6, 2005.

The Raiders lost anyway, with Larry Johnson scoring from the 1 as time expired moments after running 37 yards to the 1 with a middle screen against a Raiders blitz.

There were other Raiders come-from behind games decided in the last three minutes. Some were by Collins, a handful by Rich Gannon, but all involved field goals and tie scores, a with a few games decided in overtime.

Although it may not be anything more than a statistical fluke in the long run _ which it certainly will be if Russell’s accuracy doesn’t improve _ he has somehow discovered through two weeks to be on target when it matters most and only a touchdown will suffice. And it’s not like the final drive against the Chiefs was without adversity, with false starts on Zach Miller, Louis Murphy and Cornell Green.

Bottom line is if Russell doesn’t get a lot better, the Raiders won’t be close enough most weeks to put themselves in position to win. If he does improve, there’s at least some evidence he’s got what it takes on the last drive.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • DMAC
  • 4evaRaider

    thats some funny shizzzitt Lynn

  • 4evaRaider

    we went 2 the other side…

  • DMAC

    Where the hell is everybody at? Am I missing something?

  • Einstein

    # exlaraiderseasonticketholder Says:
    September 23rd, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Remember how good Tim Brown was even after he lost his speed.


    Timmy never needed speed. He quite possibly had the best field vision of any receiver to EVER play the game. YAC, HELL, he invented YAC.

  • Einstein

    # exlaraiderseasonticketholder Says:
    September 23rd, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    From Wiki:
    Todd Marinovich is engaged to Alix, approximately fifteen years his junior …

    I guess rehab is not working. LOL


    Obviously not working for you either. WTF does “approximately fifteen years his junior” mean?

  • Nnamdi21

    He / they fell off a cliff and WON.

    That hasn’t happened alot either…

    He’ll come around. So will his wides.

    Murphy actually had another costly penalty too that negated big yardage.

    The play was whistled dead when Murphy jumped bu no one heard it. Russell rolled delivered a strike the corner bit and missed on and Bey sprinted untouched toward the end zone.

    C’mon Murph. Settle in rook…

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    From Wiki:
    Todd Marinovich is engaged to Alix, approximately fifteen years his junior, and they expect a son who they plan to name Baron Buzzy Marinovich

    I guess rehab is not working. LOL

  • Timmy invented ducking and going out of bounds.

  • In Tampa, they call Timmy Mr. Buccaneer.

  • Nnamdi21

    553. NO DOUBT! Good article by ESPN in favor of the Raiders….crazy…

  • As a ND and Raiders fan, I love Timmy Brown.

    Dropped a lot of balls though….all that damned tape on his fingers. It’s not like he had Elway throwing the ball at him or something.

    But otherwise, he was about the only reason to watch the team for 8 or 9 years…

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Hey Einstein, change your name as it does not work for you LMFAO.

    Todd 40 yrs old
    Alix -25 yrs old
    years his junior 15

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    posting too fast again.
    AD never forgave Mr. Raider, Tim Brown for signing the offer sheet with the Donkeys. Made Al pay up. LOL

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Now Farve’s “f’n” with the Packers.
    Favre calls injury report fine “very unfair,” opens Packers to possible scrutiny
    Last Updated 2:58 PM, September 23, 2009 ET

  • Dakota Says:
    September 23rd, 2009 at 12:49 pm
    As a ND and Raiders fan, I love Timmy Brown.

    Dropped a lot of balls though….all that damned tape on his fingers. It’s not like he had Elway throwing the ball at him or something.

    But otherwise, he was about the only reason to watch the team for 8 or 9 years…


    You may forgive “Mr. Raider” for signing with the Broncos, but I will not.

  • Bo,

    We both know why you hate Timmy…same reason I never got warm and fuzzy over Wheatly.

  • LA to TheBay


    Not fair, IMO. Let bygones be bygones with Timmy.

    He caught his 100th TD in Oakland, and I really don’t think it’s his fault he was wearing the wrong uniform. He got a standing ovation, which is what was deserved.

    You remember how the 49ers retired Jerry Rice?

    Remember how Al Davis and the Raiders retired Timmy?

    Tim Brown deserved better from us, he stayed through thick and thin and Al didn’t return the favor.

  • LA to TheBay

    The fact that he went to ND shouldn’t sour anything either. Woodson went to Michigan, and being an Ohio St. fan, I didn’t like the guy. Of course you have to respect the talent.

    When he became a Raider, all was forgiven.

    Of course, until he ditched us. But again, you can’t blame him either.

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    new post with little content.

  • CJ Legend 34

    Yeah LA To The Bay!

    I am sur eyou did not like the guy.

    Woodson cracked a Buckeye more than Desmond Howard another Raider cracked a Buckeye.

  • Re: Timmy

    It is not a ND issue with me at all. It was Timmy’s classless decision to sign with the Broncos and then his classless decision to end his career in TB when he clearly had nothing left.

    And I never much respected his constant ducking and running OB either, but that I can forgive.

    Al did the right thing by ignoring his retirement bash, forcing Timmy to hold it at the Hyatt. He could have retired in Oakland as a proud Raider and all would have been copacetic. I do not believe Timmy has any loyalty to the team at all.

  • Richochet

    You get so confused when you’re babbling.


    What a sorry whine, dude.
    LA: “Oh, he made that completion. He was FEELING CONFIDENT, THAT’S WHY HE MADE IT”
    LA: “Oh, he missed the next one badly. For some unknown reason, right then he went through a mental checklist, and decided his confidence was shot, hence the other throw.
    LA: ” Next ball was completed. He’s confident again”

    Honestly, you don’t see how ignorant that take of your is?
    He’s INCONSISTENT. See, you fool, if a qb’s confidence is SHOT, IT’S SHOT FOR THE GAME..doesn’t go in and out..you’re just making excuse.

    OH..THAT’ RIGHT..aren’t you that sorry fool who posted ‘once JR flips on the light switch, everyone better watch out” lol…wasn’t that you?

    Weak whine..a sorry weak whine.
    INCONSISTENT QB’S ARE ON EVERY ROSTER..they’re called “backups” or “soon to be released”

    LA to TheBay Says:
    September 23rd, 2009 at 10:19 am
    I think it’s less that JaMarcus isn’t bright and more like he’s thinking too much. You could call the latter the result of the former if you like, fine.

    But when he’s scared of a turnover or a tough throw, the ball sails to where no one can get it.

    When he’s confident, the ball comes out quick and can be fit into tight windows.

    Look at the play on the final drive that was whisteld dead. JaMarcus throws it anyway and the DB makes a play on the ball as if it weren’t blown dead (IE defending, and rather well), and DHB makes a nice grab.

    It barely beat the defender, but it was placed where his WR can make a play and get YAC.

    Point is, when he just lets it rip and he’s got a WR he can trust, it’s far more accurate.

  • Marlon Wickles

    This Post was absolutely hilarious I must say, but I believe Russell will pull himself together and become that Star Quarterback we’ve all been waiting for. RAIDERS ALL THE WAY!!!!

    Come check out some more raiders blogs at

  • Trolls 35 Raiders 0

    exlaraiderseasonticketholder Says:
    September 23rd, 2009 at 12:52 pm
    posting too fast again.
    AD never forgave Mr. Raider, Tim Brown for signing the offer sheet with the Donkeys. (OBVIOUSLY YOU :mrgreen: ARE POSTING TOO FAST 💡 YOU MISTAKENLY TYPED “Donkeys” INSTEAD OF “THE DENVER BRONCOS”) 😈 Made Al pay up. LOL