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Week 13 vs. DEN
Passing: 4 - 7, 56 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: 3 / 4 / 0
Russell began his NFL career by playing two series in the second quarter. He showed off his strong arm on his first play. Russell ran a bootleg on the play and threw a strike to Jerry Porter for a 16 yard gain. Russell threw the ball a bit wide, but Porter did a great job to get his toes down in bounds. Russell led the Raider offense into Denver territory on both drives. The first drive stalled after he fumbled a shotgun snap on a third down play. Russell recovered, for an eight yard loss, but Sebastian Janikowski missed a 58 yard field goal attempt. Russell's second drive stalled, when Justin Fargas was stuffed on a fourth and one play.
Russell made a good first impression and may have received more playing time if Josh McCown wasn't having such a good game.
Week 15 vs. IND
Passing: 2 - 5, 10 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
Russell started the first three series in the third quarter, but only completed two of five passes for ten yards. He did not look especially sharp in his limited role.
Week 16 vs. JAX
Passing: 7 - 23, 83 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: 2 / 0 / 0
Russell played the majority of the game, though he did not start. He showed good composure at times, but also made many poor decisions under pressure. He also displayed good scrambling ability, but poor accuracy when throwing on the run. With ten seconds remaining in the game, he finally scored the Raiders first touchdown of the day, a short pass to his tight end, and then followed it up with a successful throw for the two-point conversion.
Week 17 vs. SD
Passing: 23 - 31, 224 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Russell's first NFL start couldn't have started off worse, as his first pass of the game was intercepted by DE Igor Olshansky. It didn't get much better during the first quarter when he nearly threw another interception to CB Antonio Cromartie, but he couldn't hang onto the ball. As the game went on, Russell grew more and more comfortable. Perhaps he got a bit too comfortable, because he coughed up the football in the shadow of his own end zone after being hit by Jyles Tucker. Tucker then pounced on the football for the touchdown, a play that completely changed the momentum in the game. Once the Chargers started pulling their starters, Russell was afforded a lot more time and space with which to work, and to his credit he knew what to do with it. He sat back and took what the defense was giving to him. He looked a lot more calm and collected, and eventually finished with very respectable passing numbers especially considering it was his first career start. He made a fantastic read on the touchdown pass to WR Jerry Porter, a 32 yard strike that was an absolute bullet over the middle, which was of course Russell's best highlight. At times, he seemed a little bit too willing to settle for the short underneath stuff, but it's tough to blame him because that's really all the Chargers were giving him.