I’ve had an entire weekend to calm down, but last week’s Thursday Night clash between the Oakland Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs is still buzzing in my brain.
The Raiders won 31-30 in a heart-stopping finish, and there were plenty of notable performances to highlight. Here’s the Week 7 edition of the Raiders Standout Performances series.
5. Michael Crabtree, WR
Crabtree had a low-key outing overall, catching just 3 passes for 24 yards on 7 targets. However, he came up big when it mattered, hauling in the game-winning touchdown pass on the final untimed down.
4. NaVorro Bowman, LB
Talk about an impressive debut. The Raiders defense was fairly quiet for the most part, generally getting bested by the Chiefs high powered offense.
However, Bowman stood out, leading the team with 11 total tackles. He did allow a touchdown pass to Travis Kelce midway through the first quarter; his pass coverage as a whole was below average. Still, getting that amount of stops while starting on such short notice is pretty eye-opening. Given time, Bowman could help improve the defense for the better.
3. Jared Cook, TE
Cook may have gotten a higher spot on the list had he pulled down a catchable pass during the final drive’s frenzied finish. However, without him, the Raiders would have lost for sure.
He pulled down 6 passes for 107 yards. Most importantly, Cook had two clutch catches that kept the game alive. He caught a 13-yard pass on a 4th-and-11 to extend the last series. Then he made a leaping 28-yard catch that was initially ruled a touchdown, though replay showed he was down just before the goal line. Cook’s career has always been marred by inconsistency, so this was an encouraging performance.
2. Derek Carr, QB
Carr still has plenty to work on. He got bailed out in the second quarter via a questionable illegal contact call after getting the ball stolen right out of his hands. He also had a number of overthrows as a result of pressure.
Despite that, Carr was a giant on the final drive, not losing his head and leading the offense down the field for the win. He finished with 417 yards and 3 TD passes on 29 for 52 passing. With ten days of rest ahead, he’ll hopefully be fully healthy for the next contest.
1. Amari Cooper, WR
Consider the slump dead. Cooper played out of his mind on Thursday, catching 11 passes for 210 yards and 2 TDs on 18 targets. The yardage was the second most in franchise history. His drop problem hasn’t been erased completely, but Cooper looked like the monster he was during the preseason. With him potentially back to normalcy, the offense may return to its usual deadly status.