David Amerson and Sean Smith Rise from the Ashes
After being put under the NFL spotlight because of their poor play through the first two weeks of the 2016 season, both David Amerson and Sean Smith put together strong performances against the Titans in response to the nationwide criticism.
Amerson, PFF’s worst cornerback in 2014, has flashed at times for Oakland both in 2015 and at the start of this season, but he took his play to new heights against the Titans on Sunday.
According to PFF, Amerson led the Raiders defense with a grade of 97.9, now establishing himself as PFF’s No. 1 ranked corner in 2016 at an astounding 92.5 overall through three weeks.
Not only that, but Amerson was also PFF’s highest graded player in Week 3, regardless of position.
Amerson’s four pass-breakups against Tennessee have him leading the Raiders with seven PBU’s on the season, per ESPN.com.
Smith, on the other hand, struggled to meet high expectations during his first two weeks with the Silver and Black, as he buried himself down PFF’s list of NFL cornerbacks. With an overwhelming amount of doubt and speculation weighing down on his back, Smith reached out to the Raiders’ fan base via Facebook prior to Oakland’s Week 3 contest against the Titans.
"“There’s Raiders fans and there SEAN Smith fans,” Smith wrote via our very own Nick Hjeltness. “The SS fans know what I can do and know what I will do. Raiders fans that don’t know yet I understand your frustration, we have a long season. Our defenses will get it together, WE will get it together. THANK YOU for your support and love. #Nation”"
Regardless of whether or not you knew what he could do, Smith did ‘get it together’.
In Nashville, Smith earned a 90.2 overall grade, finishing as Oakland’s No. 2 ranked defensive player, per PFF.com.
Having two developed, veteran cornerbacks on the outside is something the Raiders haven’t had in a long time, but it’s definitely something fans are hoping to see on a week-to-week basis.