When Oakland Raiders receiver Michael Crabtree fought Aqib Talib, fortunes changed. Fate remains a weird force in sports, especially football. That Sunday brawl took Crabtree out of at least one upcoming game. Unfortunately, Amari Cooper sustained two injuries on the same play. Once again, bad luck bites the Oakland Raiders. Yet, through that, opportunity arises for others to fill the void. At the top of the list, Seth Roberts and Cordarrelle Patterson must play big Sunday in Oakland.
In the offseason, many chided General Manager Reggie McKenzie for extending Roberts. However, McKenzie appreciates what Roberts brings on Sundays. Although RaiderNation sees drops, fumbles, Raiders brass sees potential. From his third receiver spot, Roberts does show the flashes of skill. On the contrary, the roundness of his routes must anger Derek Carr. Nevertheless, Roberts also contributes in run blocking. Under those consequences, look for him to play a larger role in Sunday’s action. In the ten previous games, Roberts averaged just over two targets (2.4) per outing. Now, those numbers look to certainty double, even triple. Hopefully, the moment will not consume him.
With the exception of Jared Cook, no 2017 offseason addition made a bigger impact. From kick returns to back field snaps to vertical plays, Paterson does it all. The key to Patterson’s game rests in his ability to streak past defenders. Also, Patterson uses his strength when needed. People forget that he weighs 220 pounds. When he burst through the line, he is breaking the arm tackles of linemen and the occasional linebacker. Look for Patterson on jet/fly sweeps, draws, and stretching the already thin Giants’ secondary. Granted, safety Landon Collins plays downhill with force, but he struggles with the deep ball.
At first look, Patterson’s receiving stats look poor. Averaging less than ten yards a catch is rough. Yet, the game-breaking speed cannot be ignored. The threat is real. Every time the ball finds Patterson’s hands, a big play looms over the horizon. Last week, he sealed the victory over Denver with a fifty-four yard grab.
In reality, Roberts and Patterson will not be asked to attempt what Cooper and Crabtree do. Yet, the Oakland Raiders, from players to management seem confident. For Seth Roberts, a strong performance Sunday, wipes away the drops, miscues and nightmarish 2017. On the other hand, if Patterson succeeds, the effort cements his reputation as the most exciting offensive player the Raiders employ.