Raiders throttled by Jets in New Jersey 34-3

photo from sfgate.com: New York Jets’ Brian Poole (34) breaks a tackle by Oakland Raiders’ Hunter Renfrow (13) to score a touchdown after intercepting a pass during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J

By Jeremy Kahn

It seems that Derek Carr does not like to play in the cold weather, and it was cold in the Meadowlands on this day.

The temperature was 43 degrees, but that did not hurt Sam Darnold, who threw two touchdown passes and ran for one and the New York Jets simply destroyed the Oakland Raiders 34-3 at MetLife Stadium.

With the loss, Carr is now 2-9 in games where the temperature is 50 degrees or below and he was pulled from the game by head coach Jon Gruden late in the third quarter.

Carr ended up going 15-for-27 for 127 yards passing and also threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown. It was the first interception that Carr threw in four games against the Jets since joining the NFL in 2014.

Darnold went 20-for-29 for 315 yards, as he topped the 300-yard plateau for the fourth time in his career. He also threw touchdowns to Robby Anderson and Ryan Griffin, as the Jets scored 34 unanswered points after falling behind 3-0 on a Daniel Carlson field goal.

The Jets went into the locker room with a 10-point lead and put the game away on their first series of the third quarter, as Darnold found Braxton Berrios, who got all the way down to the Raiders one-yard line after a 69-yard pass play. Darnold then found a wide-open Griffin on the next play.

You knew that things were not going well, as the Jets number one ranked defense stopped Alec Ingold on fourth-and-1 for no gain and gave the ball back to the Jets inside the Raiders 40-yard line.

Jets head coach Adam Gase slipped into his bag of tricks on the ensuing series, as Darnold handed the ball off to Bilal Powell, who flipped it over to Jamison Crowder, who then tossed it back to Darnold, who a great pass that Anderson caught for a 30-yard completion. Three plays later, Darnold found Anderson for a one-yard touchdown pass to give the Jets a 24-point leads.

The Jets closed out the scoring on the Raiders next series, as Neville Hewitt deflected a pass that went into the hands of Brian Poole, who returned the interception 15 yards for the touchdown.

Josh Jacobs was held to 34 yards on 10 carries, as he entered the game ranked fourth in the NFL in rushing.

Carlson hit a 48-yard field goal their only points of the afternoon, and then the Jets were forced to settle for a 24-yard field goal by Sam Ficken.

It looked like the Jets tied up the game, as Demaryius Thomas caught an eight-yard touchdown pass from Darnold; however, Daniel Brown was called for offensive pass interference after the Raiders challenged the call.

UP NEXT: Once again, the Raiders will stay on the road, as they will travel to Arrowhead Stadium, where they will face the Kansas City Chiefs on December 1.

Oakland Raiders podcast with Joe Hawkes: Raiders forcing turnovers and getting a good pass rush going

Photo credit: justblogbaby.com

On the Raiders podcast with Joe Hawkes:

#1 The Raiders are getting help on their pass rush. They have 25 sacks this season. They got 12 in their last three games.

#2 The Raiders head coach Jon Gruden says the pass rush had also forced turnovers in those last three games.

#3 In the game last Sunday, the Raiders pressured Bengals quarterback Ryan Finley. The Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby knocked the ball out of Finley’s hand.

#4 In another play, Crosby chased Finley, who threw the ball to his right that got intercepted by cornerback Trayvon Miller.

#5 The Raiders face the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium Sunday. Joe sets this game up.

Joe Hawkes is a Raiders beat writer and does the Raiders podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

After three straight wins at home, the Raiders head east to take on the Jets

Photo credit: sports.yahoo.com

By Joe Hawkes
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — Having completed a successful three-game home stand undefeated, the Raiders will hit the road for a two-game road trip beginning Sunday as they they will face the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in Week 12 action.

Oakland is 5-1 at home this season, but are 1-3 from the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum.

Kickoff is set for 10:00 a.m. PT and will be broadcast on CBS with Greg Gumbel and Trent Green on the call.

The Raiders currently hold a two-game winning streak over the Jets, most recently defeating New York by a score of 45-20 at home in Week 2 of the 2017 season to push the all-time series to 23-17-2 in favor of Oakland.

In Week 11, the Raiders defeated the visiting Cincinnati Bengals 17-10 to pull their record to 6-4 and giving them their first three-game winning streak since 2016.

Running back Josh Jacobs recorded his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the season, after rushing for 112 yards on 23 carries and broke Marcus Allen’s team-record for most 100-yard rushing games in a season by a rookie in the process.

Allen set the franchise rookie record with three games of rushing for over 100 yards in 1982

Jacobs is fourth in the NFL in rushing with 923 yards (4.8 average per rush) to go along with seven touchdowns on 191 carries. Oakland could have a tough day rushing against a Jets defense that ranks tops against the run, allowing just 79.1 yards per game on the ground this season.

In fact, the NFL’s 13th ranked defense allowed just one 100-yard rusher in 2019, surrendering 105 rushing yards to Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott in New York’s 24-22 victory over Dallas in Week 6.

Quarterback Derek Carr recorded just his second career rushing touchdown, while also tossing a touchdown to rookie tight end Foster Moreau. Carr threw for 292 yards on 25-of-29 passing in the contest.

As for Moreau, his touchdown was the 14th score by a rookie this season for the Silver and Black, tying the franchise mark set in 1982. Not only have this year’s rookies been big contributors on offense for the Raiders, the defense has seen a big boost from rookies as well this season.

First-year defensive end Maxx Crosby has a career day against the Bengals recording four sacks, including three in the fourth quarter. “Mad Maxx” set a rookie franchise record with his performance, and was just the third player to record four sacks in a game in 2019.

Crosby also had a forced fumble in the first quarter for good measure.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Crosby became just the fourth rookie in NFL history to register a four-sack game since the stat became official in 1982.

Rookie cornerback Trayvon Mullen’s interception on the Bengals’ final offensive drive of the game sealed the win for Oakland with just a minute remaining in the fourth quarter, keeping Cincinnati (0-10) winless. It was the third-straight game that Oakland’s defense would seal the win.

The Jets defeated Washington 34-17 on the road in Week 11 to improve to 3-7 on the year behind four touchdown passes from Sam Darnold. The second-year quarterback threw for 293 yards on 19-of-30 passing for New York, who jumped out to a 34-3 lead that held up midway through the fourth quarter before Washington scored their first touchdown of the game.

Jets tight end Ryan Griffin hauled in 109 yards and a touchdown. Griffin’s five catches were tied with wide receiver Jamison Crowder for most in the game. Crowder finished second on the team with 76 yards and a touchdown.

Dynamic safety Jamal Adams recorded three of the Jets’ six sacks on Washington’s rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

Following Sunday’s game, the Raiders will head to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the Kansas City Chiefs in what will be a huge matchup in the AFC West in Week 13. The Chiefs are currently 7-4, but have the Raiders breathing down its neck with Oakland trailing Kansas by half-a-game in the division.

The Jets will face the Bengals in Cincinnati next Sunday.

Oakland Raiders Sunday Spotlight: Michael Crabtree

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the New York Jets during the first half of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
Sports Radio Service Writer

OAKLAND — Michael Crabtree was a scoring machine against the visiting New York Jets, hauling in six catches (on six targets) for 80 yards and a career-high three touchdowns in Oakland’s 45-20 rout Sunday in the Silver and Black’s home opener.

Oakland is 2-0 for the first time since 2002, the last time the team played in the Super Bowl after winning the AFC Championship. Crabtree briefly left the game in the first quarter with an ankle issue, but returned to the game and was the Jets’ worse enemy the rest of the game.

With the Jets doubling fellow wide receiver Amari Cooper for most of the game, Crabtree took full advantage of single coverage, scoring on a 2-yard fade route up the left side in the first quarter, a 26-yard fly-route down the right side in the second quarter, and 1-yard option route in the fourth quarter that pushed Oakland’s lead to 42-13.

The Raiders racked up 410 yards of total offense against New York (0-2), who gave up 400-plus yards of total offense for the second straight week after surrendering 408 yards to the Bills in a 21-12 loss at Buffalo in Week 1.

In two games this season, Crabtree leads Oakland with 12 catches (on 13 targets) for 163 yards and four touchdowns.

Oakland heads to Washington next Sunday to play the first of their franchise-record five prime time games in 2017 on NBC Sunday Night Football. Crabtree could be in for a tough matchup against the Redskins, who have one of the NFL’s best shutdown cornerbacks in Josh Norman.

Washington (1-1) defeated the Rams 27-20 in Los Angeles Sunday after intercepting Rams starting quarterback Jared Goff in the final minute of the fourth quarter to seal the win.

 

Oakland Raiders-New York Jets Preview: Raiders host Jets Sunday in home opener

AP File Photo: New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) is sacked by Buffalo Bills’ Jordan Poyer (21) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
Sports Radio Service Writer

OAKLAND — Sunday’s 26-16 road win in Nashville (the team’s third straight win at Nissan Stadium in as many seasons), gave Oakland its first win of the year and marked just the first time since the 2001 and 2002 seasons that the Raiders open consecutive seasons with a victory.

Oakland (1-0) won their first game of the season last year, 35-34 over the Saints.

Now, Oakland didn’t follow up that close win in New Orleans with a win in their home opener the very next week, losing to the eventual NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons 35-28.

But this year’s version of the Silver and Black shouldn’t worry about experiencing another letdown this time around, especially with the bottom-feeding New York Jets (0-1) visiting the Black Hole Sunday in Oakland’s home opener at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

Kickoff is at 1:25 p.m. PT.

Offensively, the Raiders and Jets are on different stratospheres. The Raiders hold a 24-19-2 edge over the Jets all-time.

Oakland has the clearer edge at quarterback, engineered by the 26-year-old Derek Carr who continues to mature into one of the league’s top passers.

Against Tennessee on Sunday, Carr out-performed Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, completing 22-of-32 passes for 262 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and a 114.3 passer rating in a matchup between two of the NFL’s best young quarterbacks.

Mariota finished 25-of-41 for 256 yards and a 78.9 passer rating to go along with a 10-yard scoring run in the first quarter.

In the last matchup against the Jets in 2015, Carr thrashed New York, throwing for 333 yards and four touchdowns with a blistering 130.9 passer rating in a 34-20 victory in Oakland.

The Jets have played musical chairs at quarterback in recent years, going through Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith and are now piloted by journeyman Josh McCown, with holdovers Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty still on the roster.

McCown completed 26-of-39 passes for 187 yards and two interceptions in a 21-12 loss at Buffalo on Sunday.  He did engineer an 11-play, 75-yard drive that he capped off with quarterback sneak for a touchdown on fourth down that pulled the Jets within two points late in the third quarter.

In 16 NFL seasons, McCown is 18-43 in 61 career starts, including 3-23 in his last 26 starts.

Carr has a great arsenal of offensive weapons at his disposal, with wide receivers Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper, and tight end Jared Cook.

Crabtree led Oakland with six catches (on seven targets) for 83 yards, while Cooper (five catches on a team-high 13 targets for 62 yards) scored Oakland’s first touchdown of the season on a 8-yard catch that Cooper fought off a hoard of Tennessee defenders. The Titans gift-wrapped Oakland’s first score of the game after failing to recover an onside-kick on the game’s opening possession that rookie Shalom Luani recovered at the 50-yard line.

Cook, a former Titan, finished with five catches for 56 yards.

Outside of former Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, who by all accounts wasn’t the biggest name in the Seahawks’ wide receivers’ meeting room, the Jets have nobody at wide receiver that will scare defenses.

Against Buffalo, Kearse led all Jets receivers with seven catches (on nine targets) for 59 yards.

Second-year wide receiver Robby Anderson is viewed as New York’s best deep threat. Nothing more, nothing less.

Oakland’s ground game is head and shoulders better than New York’s.

Marshawn Lynch looked refreshed in his first game in over a year following his retirement, carrying the football 18 times for 76 yards –10 of those yards coming in the fourth quarter.

Lynch reminded us that he is still “Beast Mode” late in the fourth quarter with one of his signature powerful runs that broke the spirit of the Titans and put the game away for the Raiders.

With Oakland nursing a 23-16 lead and facing a second-and-eight from the Titan 40-yard line, Lynch eluded one defender before charging through the 6-foot-1, 305-pound Jurrell Casey that made a thunderous sound throughout Nissan Stadium and saw Casey fall like a ton of bricks.

That’s what a guy like Lynch brings to the Raiders, a guy who will finish off runs that are just back-breaking for a defense in the fourth quarter when its trying to catch its breath after dealing with Oakland’s aerial attack.

When the Raiders get a lead late in a game, Lynch will become the ultimate closer because teams won’t want to tackle a 5-foot-11, 215-pound speeding rhino that hits like an anvil.

Veteran running backs Bilal Powell and Matt Forte powers New York’s running game, with the duo accounting for all 38 of New York’s rushing yards against the Bills.

Oakland’s defense surrendered 95 yards on the ground to Tennessee.

New York’s defense had leaks all over it Sunday, yielding 408 yards of total offense to the Bills. Buffalo’s starting running back LeSean McCoy gauged the Jets for 110 yards on 22 carries and quarterback Tyrod Taylor completed 16-of-28 passes for 224 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

McCoy added five catches for 49 yards, proving that the Jets don’t handle running backs who can catch the football out of the backfield.

Lynch can definitely catch the football, but running backs Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington are adequate receivers out of the backfield as well and will give New York’s defense fits come Sunday if matched on a linebacker.

The Raiders open as 14-point favorite at home by most odds-makers and with the Jets being a very young and inexperienced team at key positions, Oakland has the chance for a blowout win in front of Raider Nation.

Prediction: Raiders win going away,  34-10, behind a 300-yard and three touchdown performance from Carr sprinkled with 15-20 carries from Lynch for 80-90 yards and a touchdown.

The aforementioned Crabtree could be in for a big game against the Jets.

The last time Crabtree played New York, he was unstoppable hauling in seven catches for 102 yards and a touchdown.

 

 

 

 

Oakland visit New York for Season Opener

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon

OAKLAND — Finally the preseason is over and now the wins and loses will count for each team on their quest to be one of the final two teams to play in Super Bowl XLVIX  in February out in Glendale, AZ  for the Lombardi Trophy.

The Oakland Raiders hope to be one of those two teams, but will need to break an 11-year playoff drought first in order to make that happen which begins Sunday in New York against the Jets in Week 1.

Oakland finished the preseason 2-2, and had glimpses of a quarterback controversy with backups Matt McGloin and Derek Carr playing well at times in place of projected starter, Matt Schaub. Carr will the first rookie quarterback in team history to make his first start in Week 1.

Well there is no quarterback controversy as FOX Sports NFL Insider Jay Glazer reported Monday that Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen named Carr the starter ahead of Schaub for Sunday’s tilt in the Big Apple.

“Not an indictment on Matt Schaub, Derek Carr is mature beyond his years,” coach Dennis Allen said after Monday’s practice. “We feel very comfortable with him helping us win football games. … Derek is the starting quarterback.”

Schaub, who was battling parts of training camp with elbow tendinitis in his throwing elbow, didn’t play like a starting quarterback in his three starts, throwing for 218 yards, no touchdowns and one interception on 24-of-47 passes. The former Houston Texans quarterback is trying to resurrect his career in Oakland, after a disastrous 2013 season for the 2-14 Texans.

“Matt is disappointed but he has handled it like a pro,” Allen said. “Derek has grown [by] leaps and bounds…He is ready to accept the challenge.”

In three preseason games (missed one due to a rib/concussion injury), Carr finished 30-of-45 for 326 yards passing, four touchdowns and one interception, with a 108.2 QB rating. In his start  against Seattle in the preseason finale at home, Carr looked like a seasoned veteran, taking command of the Raider’s first-team offense on two touchdown drives against the vaunted Sehawks first-team defense.

With the help of what should be a promising running attack with the tandem of Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden, Carr should not feel pressured into trying to win the game on his own. Both MJD and McFadden played sparingly during preseason, and look healthy to shoulder the load on the ground.

Defensively, Oakland made several key free agent acquisitions, most notably with an influx of veteran leadership with the signings of defensive end Justin Tuck, linebacker LaMarr Woodley, and cornerbacks Carlos Rogers and Terrell Brown. Oakland is counting on those guys to help improve an Oakland defense that finished 22nd  in total defense in the league last season.

The Jets, who finished the preseason 2-2, are led by second-year quarterback Geno Smith.

Smith, who started all 16 games last season as a rookie, threw 12 touchdowns and 21 interceptions (fourth-most in the league), but did finish with 3,046 yards passing.

New York is banking on the five-year $36.25 million contract they gave former Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker to help the former West Virginia Mountaineer improve on those numbers, and end a three-year playoff absence for New York.

Second-year defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson is the force behind a vastly improved Jets 3-4 defense that ranked 11th in total defense in 2013.

Richardson is the key to the Jets defense, enabling defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson to get after the quarterback.

Wilkerson finished with a career-high 10.5 sacks last year and could make Carr’s first career regular season start a tough one as Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan loves to blitz and give multiple defensive looks to opposing quarterbacks.

If Carr continues to grow and show the confidence that he’s exhibited during the preseason and play mistake-free football, Oakland has a great chance of leaving New York with a win.

 

 

 

 

 

Another loss for Silver and Black

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 8: Terrelle Pryor #2 hands off to Marcel Reece #45 of the Oakland Raiders during their game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on December 8, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – DECEMBER 8: Terrelle Pryor #2 hands off to Marcel Reece #45 of the Oakland Raiders during their game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on December 8, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

By Jeremy Kahn

Charles Woodson compared this latest loss for the Oakland Raiders to the baseball team in the 1976 classic movie Bad News Bears.

Lately that is exactly how the Raiders have been playing, and their latest loss against the New York Jets shows just that.

Geno Smith broke Mark Sanchez’s rookie record in a season, as he threw for 219 yards and the Jets defeated the Raiders 37-27 at MetLife Stadium.

On the season, the rookie out of the University of Missouri has thrown for 2,475 yards, breaking Sanchez’s record of 2,444.

Chris Ivory scored on a touchdown run, Nick Folk kicked three field goals and Antonio Allen blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown, as the Jets put a stop to their three-game losing streak.

Matt McGloin threw three touchdown passes, and Marcel Reece scored on a 63-yard touchdown run.

McGloin went 18-for-31 for 245 yards passing.

Reese was forced to start at running back for the Raiders, as they were down three running backs.

This was the third consecutive loss for the Raiders, who fall to 4-9 on the season and this was the 13th consecutive loss in the Eastern Zone.

Sebastian Janikowski continues to have kicking problems, as the veteran missed a 52-yard field goal after the Raiders were able to get a huge interception by Kevin Burnett with the Raiders trailing 3-0 in the first quarter.

With the Raiders trailing by 17 entering the third quarter, Reece gave them a little light, as he took a handoff from McGloin and ran 63 yards for a touchdown.

On the afternoon, Reece finished with 19 carries for 123 yards and that long touchdown run through the Jets defense.

Rod Streater continues to get better each week, as the free agent out of Temple pulled down seven catches for 130 yards and a touchdown.

Oakland heads East for date with Jets

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon

OAKLAND — For the second time this season, the Raiders will visit MetLife Stadium this time, will take on the New York Jets Sunday. Oakland lost to the New York Giants, 24-20 in Week 10. The Raiders are playing their fourth road game in five games and have won two of the last three against the Jets, the last being a 34-24 victory in September 2011.

Oakland (4-8) is coming off a close 31-24 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day, delivering the kill shot to their playoff dreams.

Quarterback Matt McGloin played decent in his third-career start, finishing 18 of 30 for 255 yards passing, but throw a crucial interception in the end zone to Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr in the fourth quarter that iced the game of Dallas.

Second-year wide receiver Andre Holmes had a marvelous day filling in for the injured Denarius Moore. Holmes posted career-highs in catches (seven) and receiving yardage (136). Even though Holmes did have a breakout game, Holmes still runs questionable routes and misplayed a back-shoulder pass from McGloin.

Running back Rashad Jennings rushed for 35 yards on 17 carries, scoring two touchdowns. Darren McFadden (hamstring) played for the first time in four games, carrying the ball five times for 13 yards, before leaving the game with an ankle injury. McFadden never returned to the game.

New York (5-7) has lost four of their last five games, including last week’s 23-3 lost to their AFC East rivals, the Miami Dolphins.

Quarterback Geno Smith has come under fire in New York for his up-and-down play this season. Smith completed just 4 of 10 passes for 29 yards and interception before being replaced by Matt Simms. Smith is expected to start for the Jets.

Former New Orleans Saints running back Chris Ivory paced the Jets with 61 rushing yards on 21 carries.

Raiders report: Raiders face struggling Jets with interchangable quarterbacks

by David Zizmor

ALAMEDA–The Oakland Raiders are hitting up the New York Jets at the New Jersey Meadowlands at the opportune moment because the Jets were playing pretty well for the early part of the season they were kind of a surprise team. They won five games and everyone was saying “wow they’re not as bad as we thought, we thought the Jets would be one of the three or four worst teams in the league.”

They’re actually saying a lot of the things that the people were saying about the Raiders that they were surprised that they were winning games. The Jets have in the last several games kind of sunk back to that their in the five worst teams in the league mode. Jets quarterback Geno Smith he’s at least shown flashes of being a competent quarterback in the last four games.

Smith has really kind of regressed they haven’t had any of the offense it’s been all down to the point where last week he was benched for backup quarterback Matt Simms and Simms has never started for any NFL team. Smith might be back this Sunday against the Raiders in the starting line ups.

Smith certainly has the talent he could do some damage and the way the Jets are playing right now there’s no reason to think he’s going to come out and torch the Raiders. Smith is just not playing that well and the Raiders defense is solid enough that they should be able to pressure him and slow him down. To be honest the Jets have one the least impressive set of skill players in the NFL.

That’s not including the quarterback position you just look at the running backs, the wide receivers, the tight ends, the Jets really have nobody of note. Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes is back he’s someone you can’t sleep on but nobody else. They don’t have any depth at wide receiver, their tight ends are no names, their running backs are in and out of the line ups with injuries.

The guys who are in there aren’t particularly good and while the Raiders defense isn’t fantastic they have proven they can stop lousy teams which you saw in Houston a couple of weeks ago and the Jets are on par with that Houston team if not worse. If the Raiders can go in on this one and expect to be in the game it’s never easy to win on the road in the NFL so I don’t expect this to come easy.

The Jets have show they can play good defense and Jets head coach Rex Ryan last week Ryan is particularly good at troubling young rookie quarterbacks we’ve seen it time and time again where rookies and inexperienced QBs go in against the Rex Ryan defense and he completely baffles them with different looks and presenting his players in odd ways that confuse the young quarterbacks.

David Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportstalk Radio

Crabtree is key to the Niners playoff push

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by Kahlil Najar

The 10-point victory against the Rams on Sunday wasn’t as much of a surprise as was the return of the Niners star wide receiver Michael Crabtree. Over six months ago, Crabtree was sidelined when he tore his Achilles and had the Niner nation in a scare. There were talks of how he wouldn’t be able to come back this year and that the Niners will need to find another standout receiver to give them a chance to get back to the Superbowl. With two loses on the year against teams with great secondaries (Saints, Seattle) and surprise loses to the Colts and the Panthers – Niner fans were wondering how it might be if they had a healthy Crabtree on the field.

In his season debut yesterday he had two catches for 68 yards including a character defining 60 yard dash that had him battling off Rams defenders and streaking down the sideline. The play sparked the offense and instantly opened up the offense. Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin ended up with a combined 180 yards receiving and one touchdown.

The Niners are currently ranked second to last in passing offense and average a little over 180 yards per game in the air. The only team below them is the lowly New York Jets who are having a whirlwind of a year trying to figure out if they have the right quarterback or not. Also no other receiver on the Niners has caught a touch down this year other than Boldin and Davis.

With Kaepernick  having his number one receiver back, a formidable receiver in Boldin and the always dependable Davis – there will now be three targets that are on the field that are legitimate big play makers. This will open the field much more for some screen plays, delays and even just the running game in general which Frank Gore has been championing with over 800 yards rushing and 8 TDS.

Crabtree has to stay healthy and active and the Niners offense can come alive and give them the push into the Superbowl again.