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.
Somehow, someway, the Oakland Raiders continue to win in dramatic fashion.
This time at home, climbing to 10-2 in triumph over the Buffalo Bills. The victory thrusts Oakland’s win streak to six, its longest since 2000.
But the 38-24 defeat of Buffalo was special, a comeback victory unlike any seen in 16 years. The 15-point deficit Oakland climbed back from was the most since the Raiders 38-31 defeat of the Indianapolis Colts on September 10, 2000. In that game, Oakland overcame a 21-point deficit on the road.
Pro Bowl quarterback Derek Carr and All-Pro edge rusher Khalil Mack each continued to solidify their cases for awards at the end of the season. But some Raiders flourished in the win, others floundered. Here are three players who stepped up, and three players who had it rough in Week 13.
Let’s start with players whose stock is on the rise.
Oakland has lived and died by the “Next Man Up” mantra this season, and Carrie’s a great example. The third-year cornerback has been thrown in the fire throughout his young career, having to adapt through trial-and-error.
Last week against Carolina, Carrie gave up a bomb to Panthers wideout Ted Ginn Jr., yet this week, he stepped up like never before in the absence of injured corner D.J. Hayden.
The recipient of Pro Football Focus’ top defensive score for Oakland (84.4) against Buffalo, Carrie shined. Tasked with checking Bills primary receiver Sammy Watkins, Carrie excelled, holding him to just 3 catches for 38 yards. From forcing drops to swats, Carrie was a hound, in a game that’s sure to boost his confidence.
After showing potential in preseason play, undrafted rookie linebacker/defensive end James Cowser was placed on injured reserve in September. After an injury settlement, he signed to the Practice Squad in October.
On November 26, Oakland made the decision to activate Cowser to the active roster. On November 27, Cowser was making key plays against the Carolina Panthers on special teams.
Sunday, Cowser recorded his first career sack against the Bills.
Coming off the edge opposite Mack, Cowser smashed Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor into the bowels of the Oakland Coliseum. A feel-good story on a team of unheralded, undrafted, unappreciated gems, Cowser continues to improve.
The Oakland offensive line is so great, that a moniker for the treacherous 300-plus-pounders has been created. “Carr Insurance” has been used to define the frontline led by guard Kelechi Osemele and tackle Donald Penn.
The supporting cast has battled injury, with a different big man stepping up weekly. This week, it’s guard Gabe Jackson, slinging Bills defenders all over the Oakland Coliseum. Whether pass or run blocking, Jackson was efficient, helping Oakland accumulate 399 offensive yards.