A weekly series recapping three players on the Oakland Raiders whose stock is on the rise after playing well, and three players whose stock has taken a hit after a poor performance.
The Oakland Raiders 2016 season is playing out like a combination of every feel-good football jock flick of years past. A bumbling franchise makes a miraculous turnaround after years of obscurity at the hands of a handsome, underrated quarterback (Derek Carr). The motley crew is filled with castoffs (David Amerson), and second-chancers (Michael Crabtree) that complement the star player (Khalil Mack).
Despite stalling on offense and a scary injury to Derek Carr, the Raiders managed to defeat the Carolina Panthers 35-32, moving to 9-2 on the season. All it took was a Willis Reed like return from Carr while also causing everyone in RaiderNation to nearly have a heart attack.
After an up and down game from multiple players, we look at our version of a stock watch — three players who stood out and three players who had rough showings in Week 12.
Let’s start with players whose stock is on the rise.
Aside from nearly breaking Derek Carr’s pinky on a snap that nearly cost Oakland the game, Hudson was top-notch Sunday.
Despite Carolina’s stifling pressure, Hudson has yet to allow a sack or hit on Carr. Ironically, Hudson silenced Pro Bowl nose tackle Kawann Short, a player reportedly on Oakland’s radar before the trade deadline.
Oakland boasts arguably the best offensive line in the NFL, and Hudson is its anchor. He had another phenomenal showing in Week 12, and deserves strong consideration as an All-Pro.
Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin have been downright phenomenal off the edge. The duo has been so good that Denico Autry continues to fly below the radar.
Sure, he only had one assisted tackle, but his presence in the trenches caused Panthers quarterback Cam Newton trouble all game long. Not to mention, Autry could probably go out for the S.W.A.T. team the way he has been batting passes.
Speaking of which — Autry’s bat down of Carolina’s attempted two-point conversion in the third quarter would prove costly for the Panthers.
Early in NBA legend Michael Jordan’s career, he co-starred with director Spike Lee in commercials for his Air Jordan sneaker line. The catchphrase for many of the yearly commercials was “Is it the Shoes?”.
Michael Crabtree was off against the Denver Broncos in Week 9, with just 2 catches for 27 yards. Against the Houston Texans in Mexico City, Crabtree looked like a shell of himself — he appeared derelict, making uncharacteristic drops, and nabbing just 3 catches for 5 yards.
This left Raider Nation asking: “Is it the gold chain?”
Some wondered if it Crabtree’s poor performance was in lieu of the absence of his signature gold chain, a fashion statement and lucky charm of sorts.
Against Carolina, the chain returned, and so did the production. The man of few words snagged 8 catches for 110 yards, including a 49-yard bomb that resulted in him losing his helmet. The big play setup a Sebastian Janikowski field goal, which proved to be the game-winner.