Amari Cooper Must Take Advantage of Weaker Matchup in Vernon Hargreaves
With Amari Cooper drawing the Jaguars’ top corner Jalen Ramsey, Carr made a clear effort to take advantage of the mismatch on the opposite side of the field, completing 8 of 11 targets to his other star receiver Michael Crabtree for 96 yards and a touchdown against Jacksonville’s No. 2 cornerback Prince Amukamara.
A role reversal among the Raiders’ top two receivers is expected against Tampa Bay.
Buccaneers top cornerback Brent Grimes, a tough, physical cornerback now in his 10th season in the NFL, is expected to line up across from Crabtree for a majority of the contest due in large part to their mirrored physicality and competitive nature.
Carr specifically spoke highly of Grimes earlier this week.
"“Very athletic. [Brent] Grimes is one of the most, pound-for-pound one of the best athletes in this league,” Carr said “It’s not even close. That guy can jump out of the gym, he can stop on a dime, makes it real tough. I played against him when he was in Miami, real good player. Very, very good player.”"
With that being said, Carr will look to lean on Cooper to fuel the Raiders’ passing attack, forcing the sophomore phenom to take advantage of Tampa Bay’s rookie cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III.
Hargreaves, a first-round pick out of the University of Florida, has struggled to remain consistent on a week-to-week basis, as he appears to still be adjusting to the speed of the NFL.
According to PFF.com, Hargreaves has graded out as the 72nd overall cornerback through seven weeks.
Hargreaves and Cooper’s history dates back to their college days.
The last time the two top-tier talents squared off against each other, Cooper suited up for the University of Alabama and Hargreaves still represented the Florida Gators.
Cooper torched Hargreaves, bringing in 10 receptions for 201 yards and three touchdowns.
With Carr likely looking his way for a majority of the game, Cooper will work to have Hargreaves relive that nightmare on Sunday.
Prediction: Oakland Raiders 34, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27