Oakland Raiders: Notes and Observations From Week Three

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Sep 27, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Oakland Raiders receiver Amari Cooper (89) is pursued by Cleveland Browns safety Tashaun Gipson (39) and cornerback Tramon Williams (22) on a 40-yard reception in the second quarter in a NFL game at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Amari Cooper Is Better Than Advertised

When the Raiders drafted Cooper with the fourth overall pick in this year’s draft, everybody knew Oakland was getting a very talented receiver. Some thought it would take him a minute to adjust to the speed of the pro game but that he’d eventually settle in and be a very, very good NFL receiver.

But Cooper has been far better than advertised and his emergence has come far sooner than many expected. After a quite opening week, Cooper exploded in the week two match up with the Ravens. While fellow wideout Michael Crabtree was busy going over 100 yards for the game, Cooper — not to be outdone — hauled in 109 yards of his own. And even got his first NFL touchdown.

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  • Cooper and Crabtree are the first Raider receivers to both go over 100 yards in the same game in a decade. Randy Moss and Doug Gabriel last accomplished the feat in 2005. But that appeared to be just the tip of the iceberg for Cooper.

    Against the Browns, Cooper was even better. He gashed the Cleveland secondary for 134 receiving yards — with many of those yards coming after the catch. Cooper juked and danced his way through the Cleveland defensive backs and left them all grasping for air. His smooth route running and elusiveness after the catch has been a tremendous asset for this Raiders offense.

    The one negative about Cooper’s game against Cleveland was his costly fumble late in the fourth quarter. Rather than driving down for a score that would have put the game away — or at least chewed up a good amount of the clock — Cooper caught a ball and subsequently coughed it up — which Cleveland recovered.

    The Browns drove down the field, stuck it in the endzone, and made it a one touchdown game. It ended well for the Raiders, but it was a lot closer than it should have been. But there is no question that Cooper is a rare talent and his pairing with Carr is going to be one that pays huge dividends for the Raiders for some time to come.

    Next: Better Late Than Never