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 have managed to win coming from behind all season, but not this time, as the Chiefs completed the season sweep with a 21-13 win.
After allowing Kansas City to go up 21-3 early, Oakland cut the lead to 11 going into the half. Despite the Chiefs’ best efforts to give the game away (3 turnovers, 9 penalties), Oakland failed to capitalize. Unlike past losses, the blame is shifted to the offense, garnering just 244 yards of total offense.
To the contrary of majority of the season, Oakland’s defense was impressive, forcing two fumbles and an interception, The Raiders defense needed the offense to capitalize, but Musgrave, Carr and company floundered, scoring just 3 points out of two turnovers.
Here are three players who stepped up, and three players who had it rough in Week 14.
Let’s start with players whose stock is on the rise.
The “Tay-Train” made its next stop in Kansas City, with running back Latavius Murray running all over the Chiefs.
For the fifth time in his career, Murray rushed for at least 100 yards, gaining 103 along with a touchdown. Considering Derek Carr didn’t go under center once last night, this feat is more remarkable.
Murray lacks the moves to shake defenders, yet it didn’t matter. Past criticisms of Murray were his tendency to falter after contact. It’s been hard to tell this year, especially on last night’s touchdown, but Murray has been laying his body and the ball on the line for the sake of six points.
For the third consecutive week since being added to the active roster, linebacker James Cowser’s play has made a difference.
On a muffed punt return by Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill, Cowser recovered the fumble, which gave Oakland’s offense great position. It’s Cowser’s awareness and motor that have coaches and fans excited at his potential.
Whether on special teams or off the edge, Cowser continues to prove that he is ready to step up in a major way.
Last week, cornerback T.J. Carrie stepped up for the injured D.J. Hayden. This week, Carrie turned it up a notch, even nabbing an interception.
In coverage, Carrie did a number on Chiefs star receiver Jeremy Maclin, holding the veteran receiver to just 1 catch for 16 yards, forcing Alex Smith to instead attack David Amerson.
Carrie was all over the field, closing in on the run and even recording a tackle for loss. In a secondary that is still struggling to find its identity, the growth in Carrie is evident.