JACKSONVILLE, Fla. &
The Oakland Raiders finally turned things over to top draft pick JaMarcus Russell.
Although it might help in the future, it was pretty much disastrous against Jacksonville on Sunday.
Russell had four turnovers, three of which led to touchdowns for the Jaguars, and the Raiders self-destructed all over the field in a 49-11 drubbing.
"Obviously, there's a lot of things to learn from today," said Russell, who will start the season finale against San Diego. "Things didn't go the way we wanted to, but I learned things and that's what you want."
Josh McCown started the game and gave way to Russell after two series. His first drive began with an overthrow and ended with an interception.
It didn't get much better, either.
He was sacked twice, picked off two more times and knocked out of the game for a series after his head slammed to the ground.
"Rookies usually have a game like that when you play them for an extended amount of time," coach Lane Kiffin said. "That was really my fear. Unfortunately, it was one of those games where he was throwing the ball all over the place and turning it over."
Russell left Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on a high note, though, after throwing a 2-yard touchdown pass to Zach Miller with 6 seconds remaining. He also made the 2-point conversion, completing a short pass to Ronald Curry.
Russell finished 7-of-23 for 83 yards and had a 17.3 passer rating.
"The good part of it is he did engineer a good drive there at the end," Kiffin said. "Hopefully he got this out of the way."
The Jaguars (11-4) got a few things accomplished, too.
Jacksonville clinched a postseason spot for the second time in three years, secured the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoffs and will play on the road against either Pittsburgh or San Diego in the opening round.
And the Jags are peaking at the perfect time.
Fred Taylor ran for 111 yards, his fifth consecutive 100-yard game, and had a 62-yard touchdown run on the team's first play.
David Garrard threw two TD passes and ran for another. Backup Quinn Gray also tossed two TDs.
And the defense, which allowed a combined 366 yards in wins against Carolina and Pittsburgh, gave up 215 against the Raiders (4-11).
The Jaguars quietly celebrated their postseason berth, not wanting to get too high because they now have much higher hopes.
"This was the first step," cornerback Rashean Mathis said. "We have a few more steps to go. We are still climbing the mountain. We haven't reached the top of it yet. We haven't even peaked. After we peak, then the champagne bottles will come."
There were several concerns for Jacksonville heading into the game: Would there be a letdown after last week's big win at Pittsburgh? Would there be a Pro Bowl hangover after no one made the AFC roster? Would the Jaguars have to worry about winning at nemesis Houston in the season finale?
Taylor's run and three more touchdowns on the next three possessions quelled all of that.
"We won this game like we needed to," Taylor said. "But I don't think anybody's overly excited. We're excited about making it, but you don't see anybody jumping for joy or any champagne being popped in here. It's just another game that we're guaranteed to play."
The Jaguars finished with 437 yards. They have at managed at least 400 yards in five consecutive games and scored at least 24 points in nine straight, both team records.
No doubt, they look ready for the playoffs.
The Raiders, meanwhile, looked like a team that has lost nine of 11. They looked like a West Coast team struggling to find a rhythm after traveling cross-country and playing what would have been a 10 a.m. start at home.
And they looked like a team ready for the season to end.
Oakland was 3-of-15 on third-down conversions, was penalized 11 times for 88 yards and had one major meltdown that ended with defensive tackle Warren Sapp getting ejected.
Sapp received three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in the span of a few minutes late in the first half and with Oakland trailing 28-3, and teammate Derrick Burgess picked up another. Sapp apparently made contact with an official after the second flag and was ejected.
"The whole game was out of control," Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha said. "It wasn't embarrassing. It was mortifying, if I can use that word. That's probably the most disappointing loss I've had, especially this late in the season when everybody's been preaching finish strong, we can spoil (things for) Jacksonville.
"And they come out and put those points up on us? That's very disappointing."
Dominic Rhodes was the lone bright spot for Oakland, gaining 115 yards on 27 carries. ... The Jaguars have won three in a row against the Raiders. ... This was Oakland's first game in Jacksonville. ... Jaguars DE Paul Spicer bruised his left ankle in the second half, but should be OK.
Raiders turn to Russell in 49-11 loss to Jaguars
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. &