When surveying the game threads and post game threads, it is clearly apparent that there are divided and even derisive opinions within the community regarding JaMarcus Russell's potential as the Raiders QB. In the opinion of some, Russell's performance was so bad that it caused one member to change allegiances to another team.
There is no question, that based on yesterday's performance by Russell, that probably any other QB from the other 31 teams would have out performed Russell yesterday. That is, at least for the first 58 minutes, but for the final two minutes, there are only a handful in the league that would and/or could perform like Russell did yesterday.
Unless all that you care about are glossy stats suitable for fantasy football, there are some positive traits developing here with Russell which were seen with the final two games of last season and the first two of this one. The only real stat that matters is in the win/loss stat. The intangibles that apply to Russell's current development, leadership, toughness and coming through in the clutch, are all more valuable to this team now than pure stats.
To be sure, JaMarcus has a lot of improvement to make before he can be considered an elite QB in this league. I think before Russell can be judged too much, he will need his new favorite wide receiver target on the field in Chaz Schilens. JaMarcus and Chaz were developing quite a rapport in the offseason and it shouldn't be underestimated how Schilens' absence could be effecting Russell. With the way this Raider team is developing its skill position talent all around, Russell may not need to be Peyton Manning to be great. I will happily settle for Jim Plunkett with his not-so-pretty stats and winning games in the clutch.
For what it's worth, I believe that by the end of the season, Russell will have led the Raiders to more victories that they have had in the past 6 years and will have solidified his position with the team for years to come.
What does the Community think? Is Russell still the best bet for the future of the Raiders?
What is the most likely scenario with JaMarcus Russell for 2009?
Will steadily improve as the season goes along (808 votes)
Will get better when his wide receivers run better routes (146 votes)
Won't have great stats, but will be a leader and win games for the Raiders (411 votes)
The KC game will become his standard (173 votes)
He will flame out and be a total bust, a la Ryan Leaf or Jeff George (525 votes)
He will be benched and the Raiders will be looking for a new starting QB next season (524 votes)
2587 total votes