Bruce Gradkowski For Jason Campbell: Oakland Raiders Make Victorious QB Switch

When Jason Campbell arrived at the Oakland Raiders camp in April, following his acquisition during the NFL Draft that eventually led to JaMarcus Russell's release, he was supposed to be the man. 

Campbell's poor showing in the first two regular season games, however, brought head coach Tom Cable to the conclusion that Bruce Gradkowski might be the right man to lead the Raiders to a victory against the Rams.

Well, Gradkowski replaced an ineffective Campbell after halftime and led Oakland to three scoring drives and a 16-14 victory over St. Louis in the home opener on Sunday. So, I think Cable chose wisely.

The fact that he made the switch just six quarters into the season after waiting a half-season to bench JaMarcus Russell showed how desperate Cable and the coaching staff were for a spark.

Campbell was 8-for-15 for 87 yards and had his final pass intercepted as Oakland trailed 7-3. But once Gradkowski entered the game after the half, he completed his first three passes. His 26-yard completion to Louis Murphy set up a 41-yard field goal by Janikowski that made it 7-6.

After the Raiders stopped the Rams on a three-and-out on the next possession, Gradkowski drove Oakland 83 yards to a score on a floater to Murphy.




What's more, the offensive success appeared to give a boost to a defense that struggled to slow down Steven Jackson in the first half. Darren McFadden also ran for 145 yards on a career-high 30 carries and Sebastian Janikowski kicked three field goals to give Oakland (1-1) its first win in a home opener since 2004.

Gradkowski never got the chance to win the job this season, as Oakland traded for Campbell and made him the starter. Gradkowski tore a pectoral muscle in the offseason and injured his groin early in training camp.

He played well in two exhibition games, but Campbell opened t...

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