Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC West [Print without images]

Wednesday, October 21, 2009
AFC West Underachiever: JaMarcus Russell

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

NFC: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson

The most disappointing and lackluster player in the AFC West this season has to be Oakland quarterback JaMarcus Russell.
Jim O'Connor/US Presswire
Quarterback JaMarcus Russell has yet to live up to expectations in Oakland.

Yes, Russell is coming off his best game of the season, a 13-9 win over Philadelphia. Still, that doesn’t acquit him for an overall horrid start to the season.

Really, saying Sunday’s game was a bright spot for Russell is an indictment. He completed only 61 percent of his passes, even though the Raiders were being very cautious with him and having him throw high-percentage passes. When Russell was unleashed, many of his passes were off the mark, which has been the biggest problem of his young career.

For much of the season, Russell has struggled in every aspect of the game. He has completed 45.6 percent of his passes, which is the lowest in the NFL among full-time starters. He has thrown only two touchdown passes, compared with six interceptions. Russell’s passer rating of 51.0 is the lowest in the league among full-time starters.

For four straight weeks, Russell couldn’t push Oakland past the 200-yard mark in total offense. This was supposed to be the year in which the No. 1 overall pick in 2007 made major strides. So far, the argument could be made that he is regressing and that has to be disturbing for Oakland.

Again, Russell has shown some flashes, but overall he has struggled in a vital season in his development in Oakland. If Russell’s disappointing ways continue, the Raiders probably will be breaking in a new starting quarterback next season.