<
>

AFC West honors

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
It was easy choosing the team our Week 12 AFC West player of the week is coming from: It has to be Oakland, which pulled off the upset in Denver on Sunday.

The 3-8 Raiders, who believe it or not, are a game behind the Chargers in the AFC West. They were the only team in the division to win on Sunday.

The difficult part was choosing the player. There was Justin Fargas who ran for more than 100 yards; there was former Bronco Ashley Lelie who made some big catches. But we decided, in the end, to give the honor to quarterback JaMarcus Russell.

Russell was a study in efficiency even though he didn't pass much. Oakland clearly was planning to run the ball against Denver, but Russell made plays when he needed to. He completed 10 of 11 passes for 152 yards and he had a touchdown.

Russell didn't make many mistakes. That's what Oakland needs him to do. Let's face it; Russell will need to throw more than 11 times to win consistently. But this was a good experience for Russell, who has struggled much of this season.

Russell isn't out of the woods yet, but he has some skills and he showed it Sunday when given the chance. For that he's being honored.