Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree are two of the most reliable wide receivers in the league. Their ability to catch and run has transformed the Oakland Raiders into a team that must be taken seriously. What’s even more impressive is the duo’s ability to be productive in spite of each other. In a generation that values number one receivers more than ever, it is rare to have two that produce at such a high rate, playing for the same team.
Amari Cooper And Michael Crabtree Continue To Produce
The Oakland Raiders have a long history of valuing wide receivers; maybe to a fault. Names like Darrius Heyward-Bay and Jacoby Ford give members of Raider Nation chills, and rightfully so. The desire to stretch the field and the love affair with the long ball caused the Oakland Raiders to make a series of bad decisions in regards to the wide receiver position.
Yet, mere years later in 2017, and the Oakland Raiders have one of the most prolific receiving corps in the NFL. Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree have combined for 4,148 yards and 28 touchdowns in the last two years.
That’s 1,037 yards and seven touchdowns a piece over the last two seasons! In today’s NFL, that type of production is worth its weight in gold.
During the week one tilt against the Tennessee Titans, the Cooper and Crabtree production picked up right where it left off. With stat lines of six receptions for 83 yards and five receptions for 62 yards, and a touchdown respectively. The Oakland wide receivers continually had their way with the Titans defensive backs.
A System That Works
An imposing running game with the addition of Marshawn Lynch and a tier one quarterback in Derek Carr has only helped Oakland’s passing attack. With multiple ways to beat a defense, it’s hard to account for everyone.
New offensive coordinator, Todd Downing, has a system that works. More importantly, he has players that are well suited to this system.
One of the best offensive lines in football, combined with one of the most physical and violent runners in history, gives coach Downing an effective unit on first and second down.
The Raiders ability to run the ball between the tackles funnels defenses inside, leaving cornerbacks one-on-one outside with Cooper and Crabtree. The mismatch on the outside allows Carr to put up pro-bowl numbers week in and week out.
The Oakland Raiders passing attack owes a debt of gratitude to both an amazing offense and quality coaches. However, a large portion of the credit belongs to the receivers themselves.
Cooper and Crabtree are physical marvels. Their ability to get open and create separation is right up there with the league’s best, and they make it look easy.
In 2016 Crabtree and Cooper went for 1,153 and 1,003 yards, respectively. Marking the first time the Raiders have had two 1,000 yard receivers in one season. The last duo to pull this off: Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Tim Brown in 2001.
Cooper and Crabtree’s ability to coexist in a high powered offense is valuable beyond measure. Carr has succeeded in figuring out a way to spread the ball around evenly, keeping both receivers active on a weekly basis. It is Cooper and Crabtree, however, who continually create opportunities for themselves as part of the one of the best receiving duos in the league.