Campbell could be one win away from re-taking top spot on depth chart

Posted Nov. 01, 2010 @ 6:49 p.m.
Posted By Dan Parr

After two consecutive blowout victories — the most recent of which came at the expense of the Seahawks in a 33-3 win — Oakland is 4-4 with a chance to pull even closer to first place in the AFC West with a game against the division-leading Chiefs (5-2) in Week Nine.

The Raiders had eight sacks on Sunday, they rushed for 239 yards and Jason Campbell threw for 310 yards. Even much-maligned WR Darrius Heyward-Bey got in on the act, making a 69-yard touchdown catch.

Oakland hasn't been at or above the .500 mark this late into a season since 2002.

While there probably hasn't been this much optimism about the team since that '02 season that ended with a Super Bowl appearance, the Raiders did get some bad news when it was learned that CB Nnamdi Asomugha, who has been named to three consecutive Pro Bowls, suffered a high ankle sprain on Sunday, according to a report.

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The Raiders have won back-to-back games for the first time since the end of the '08 season and their next task is trying to win three in a row for the first time since '02. Doing so would give Oakland as many victories as it had in all of last season.

Maintaining a consistent level of play has been an issue for the team under head coach Tom Cable and it was for his predecessors throughout most of the previous decade as well. The offense has been particularly up-and-down this season, but it has thrived under Campbell in the past couple weeks.

Despite that, Cable said Sunday that Bruce Gradkowski, who hasn't played a full game since sustaining a shoulder injury in Week Four, is still his No. 1 quarterback. He may not say the same thing after the Kansas City game if Gradkowski can't play and Oakland wins again.

Gradkowski was clearly the better option at quarterback earlier in the season, but Campbell has shown improvement.

Campbell could very well give the job up with poor play, but Cable ought to give him that chance rather than pulling it away from him when things are going as well as they have in a long time.