A Reason To Be Excited

So the Raiders didn’t get Donovan McNabb.

A lot of Raiders fans, including myself, were on the edge of their seats hoping and praying for a chance to finally get a real quarterback this off-season.

When the McNabb rumors started swirling I was glued to the computer screen and TV. I even opened a twitter account just to follow Adam Schefter’s updates.

When the trade didn’t happen, I feared the worst. Russell would be behind center, on the ground and in media every week while the Raiders limped to another 11 loss season.

Why not let Bruce Gradkowski start? Charlie Frye? Kyle Boller? Anybody, just not Russell. While I love Gradkowski, he is just a backup. A great backup.

Draft day came upon us, we all expected Bruce Campbell (in the first round,) Cam Thomas, or another reach or classic speedster. Maybe, just maybe, the Raiders would draft a QB in the later rounds that could unseat Russell by season’s end.

Then the unthinkable happened.

The Raiders executed a clever draft plan that bolstered the run defense, added much needed help to the offensive line and produced an immediate starter at quarterback.

I want to focus on that last part, which is Jason Campbell.

When the Raiders got Campbell, I had mixed emotions. “Yes! Finally we have a starting caliber quarterback!”

After the initial excitement died down, I realized the Washington Redskins lost more games than the Raiders last year. Are the Raiders going to be any better?

The NFC east is an ENTIRELY different level of competition than the AFC west.

The Raiders’ quarterbacks didn’t face the same level of competition regularly last year. Campbell may get a pass based on that alone.

Pass or not, the statistics don’t lie. Campbell has some good and some bad statistics. I’m a HUGE Raider fan and I’ll just focus on the good.

Jason Campbell had a better completion percentage than Joe Flacco, Carson Palmer, Tony Romo and Peyton Manning.

Still not impressed? Campbell had more passing yards than Donovan McNabb.

I know what people are going to say, McNabb was hurt last year, and that is true. Still, Jason Campbell had only 100 less passing yards than Kurt Warner, one of the elite passers in the league.

Statistically Campbell throws the deep ball just as well as Peyton Manning and Joe Flacco. Campbell had just as many completions of 40 yards or more.

I’m sure Al Davis loves this statistic.

According to profootballfocus.com, Campbell completed 17 of 47 passes of 20+ yards, for 615 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions.

Manning threw deep much more, but his QB rating was just two points higher.

But it’s not just about the deep ball; Campbell had a completion percentage of 62 percent in the red zone with zero interceptions.

Campbell also had fewer interceptions than Mark Sanchez on more attempts and less than the prolific passing Peyton Manning.

If you wonder how Campbell is going to do in Oakland, take a look at what kind of performance he had against the AFC West.

On 84 pass attempts against the Broncos, Chiefs and Chargers, Campbell completed 64 percent for 563 yards with one interception and three touchdowns.

All this was done with the similar questions the Raiders have along the offensive line and in receiving core. Chris Cooley was also sidelined due to injury all season.

Not bad for a guy picked up for a fourth round pick in 2012. There finally is a legitimate reason to be excited.

Go Raiders!

Guest post provided by Cory Fair and edited and amended by Chris.

Follow Cory on Twitter: @blackhanside

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