A look at a player who gave his team a significant boost in Week 8:
This one was tough. We had all kinds of candidates in what was a good week for the AFC West (outside of Denver).
There was Jamaal Charles and his 177 rushing yards. There was Darrius Heyward-Bey, who had 105 receiving yards and showed signs he can help the Raiders. There was Philip Rivers, who threw for 305 yards despite playing without his top four wide receivers.
But we have to go with Oakland quarterback Jason Campbell. Campbell gets the nod because of the ramifications of it all. Campbell led the Raiders to 500-plus yards of offense for the second straight week. It was the first time Oakland has ever done that.
That’s pretty good for a backup quarterback. The question is, will Campbell remain the backup? Oakland coach Tom Cable says yes. Cable said Bruce Gradkowski will be the starter once he returns from a shoulder injury that has kept him out of the past three-plus games. Gradkowski is improving, but he may need one more week to rest, especially with a bye coming after the Raiders’ pivotal home game against the Chiefs on Sunday.
I’m wondering if Campbell doesn’t deserve the full-time gig. After all, he was brought into Oakland to be the starter in the first place. Yes, he struggled early. But he clearly has it rolling now.
Now that he is performing well, it might be smart to let him to continue to develop in the offense. The reason Gradkowski was given the starting gig in Week 3 was because he had the hot hand. Now Campbell has the hot hand. Do you want to mess with that?
Look, I love Gradkowski’s energy as much as anyone, but do you fix what’s not broken? This may be an interesting situation to follow, especially if Campbell leads Oakland to a big win over the Chiefs and puts the Raiders on the doorstep of first place in the AFC West.