It wasn’t a big day for Jared Cook, but a huge day for Clive Walford.
Knowing that Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper would not be available for this game, the Raiders offense had to get creative in figuring out who Derek Carr was going to have the most success throwing the ball to.
Though wide receivers Cordarrelle Patterson, Seth Roberts and Johnny Holton all stepped up (13 catches, 200 yards, one touchdown combined), it was a forgettable day for tight end Jared Cook. He only had one catch for nine yards. Cook had the most receiving yards of any active player on the Raiders roster for this game.
That being said, while Cook underwhelmed another tight end in Clive Walford shined. He was huge down the stretch with four catches for 57 yards on the afternoon. Walford and another tight end Lee Smith had largely disappeared from the passing playbook of late, but Walford’s big day certainly adds another wrinkle to what the Raiders can do aerially.
While Carr loves to air it out with vertical threats on the outside, he is at his best using the run to open up the pass to find possession receivers/tight ends in the middle of the field to keep the chains moving on big gains. Without Walford, this game might have gone into overtime. Who knows what would have happened there?