Not much right in lopsided Raiders' loss

The Oakland Raiders were pummeled by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday and JaMarcus Russell struggled for much of his road debut.

BY THE NUMBERS 17.4: Quarterback rating for rookie JaMarcus Russell, who was playing in his first road game in the NFL.

11: Penalties for 88 yards by the Raiders.

251: Combined total offensive yardage from Jacksonville running backs Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew.

32:48: Advantage in time of possession the Raiders held. That's normally an indication of a ball control offense but on this day it was an indication of how quickly and efficiently Jacksonville's offense was able to get into the end zone.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

* Dominic Rhodes has languished on the sidelines all season but shook off the rust to rush for 115 yards on 27 carries against a Jacksonville defense that ranked 5th against the run. He's almost certain to be playing for a new team in 2008 but it was nice to see Rhodes come up with a good game on an otherwise bleak day for the offense.

* As bad as his afternoon was, JaMarcus Russell still got some much-needed playing time and experience and managed to throw the first touchdown pass of his NFL career, a two-yard toss to tight end Zach Miller. Russell also completed a two-point conversion pass to Ronald Curry. It won't take away from the plethora of mistakes he made but it's at least something to build off.

* It didn't make much of a difference as far as the final outcome but linebacker Kirk Morrison's interception at the goal line and subsequent 36-yard return prevented a sure Jacksonville touchdown. It was Morrison's fourth pick of the season, second-most on the team behind fellow linebacker Thomas Howard (6).

WHAT WENT WRONG

* Defensive tackle Warren Sapp lost his cool while arguing with officials just before halftime and was hit with three unsportsmanlike penalties in a span of two plays and was ejected from the game. Sapp, who was apparently upset over the Jaguars' cut blocking, has got to know better but the referees also have to be held accountable. Three unsportsman penalties when there was no contact between Sapp and any other player, coach or official is simply ridiculous.

* Russell got a rough introduction to playing in an NFL stadium other than Oakland's. After opening the game with two nice completions, the rookie quarterback went into the tank, getting picked off three times and fumbling away a fourth possession. Overall, Russell was 7-for-23 for 83 yards and was sacked twice.

* For the third straight week the punt coverage team broke down and allowed a huge return. This time it was a 56-yard reverse between Dennis Northcutt and Scott Starks that helped set up the Jaguars' third touchdown of the first half.

* Stuart Schweigert has taken a lot of heat and criticism this season but it was fellow safeties Michael Huff and Hiram Eugene who had the most problems against Jacksonville. Huff missed a tackle on Fred Taylor's 62-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, whiffed on another tackle later, then covered the wrong player and left Greg Jones alone and open for an east touchdown reception.


SB Report Top Stories