Raiders at Cowboys: Offensive Grades for 2021 Week 12
With the Raider’s top receiving threat in Darren Waller leaving the game early with an injury, it was up to the wide receivers to be reliant and consistently get open without Carr’s usual safety blanket. They definitely did so.
Desean Jackson showed the exact ability he was signed for, his ability to stretch the field as a replacement for Henry Ruggs, and he did it early.
In the first quarter, Desean Jackson hauled in a pass on a crossing route and took it the distance after the catch for a 56-yard touchdown. This put the Raiders up 7-0 early.
This was Desean Jackson’s 34th career TD of more than 50+ yards. Only Jerry Rice has more. His day wasn’t done there though. Jackson also hauled in a 16 yarder on a comeback route, and another 30-yard gain on a crossing route. He also drew a PI in the first quarter that lead to an eventual Raiders score.
While three receptions may not be much, Jackson was not brought in to be the No. 1 possession guy, just as Ruggs wasn’t expected to be. He is there to stretch the field and make big plays, and he did just that.
Hunter Renfrow would be the guy who replaced Waller in terms of being the go-to guy within the offense, with a career day for the 3rd year pro. He finished the day with 8 catches for a career-high 134 yards, his longest being a 54-yarder in the fourth quarter.
Renfrow, like pretty much always, was reliable and open when he needed to be, keeping drives alive in the process. We talk about Renfrow being a slot receiver who works perfectly within the offense that has a tight end as the No. 1 WR, but he is really turning out to be a guy who would be a big part of any offense in the league.
It wasn’t just Desean Jackson and Hunter Renfrow who showed up on Thursday though, Zay Jones also got in on the action, which was needed.
Jones finished the game with five receptions for 59 yards. Of the 5 receptions, 3 were for first downs, and he also drew a PI on a 3rd and 18 in overtime which would put the Raiders in field goal position where Carlson would win the game with a 29 yarder.
The Raiders passing attack is already potent from a statistical standpoint, but if they can get these types of performances from the receiving core more often, and take some of the burden off of Waller, the offense will be scary.