Cornerback David Amerson and Wide Receiver Seth Roberts
By nature, athletes don't like looking back.
NFL players in particular, where the average career is just over three seasons, don't like revisiting past accolades, instead focusing on the next game, and the next opportunity that lies in front of them.
That being said, November 29, 2015 is a date that sticks out for a pair of Oakland Raiders, cornerback David Amerson and wide receiver Seth Roberts.
Back in November 2015, Amerson and Roberts weren't the established members of the Raiders they are now; one was a recent waiver claim who had been a Raider for just over two months, and the other was a young receiver who had just spent his first NFL season on the team's practice squad.
Little did they know that Week 12 clash at Nissan Stadium would be a defining moment in each of their respective careers; well, Amerson – who finished the game with two tackles, an interception and an unreal six passes defensed – actually did.
"To be completely honest with you, I knew," explained Amerson when recounting the 2015 clash. "I knew the opportunity I had at hand, knowing that when I got here I had a chance, and when the coach told me – at that point it was M. Rob [former defensive backs coach Marcus Robertson] – when he told me that they were really going to need me that season, I knew it was a prime opportunity for me, and this could eventually happen. I could be here for a long time, or whatever the case may be. It was kind of already planned, for real."
While Amerson seized his opportunity, Roberts made sure he did the same on the offensive side of the football too, showing out in front of a big group of his family and friends, hauling in six catches for 113 yards, two touchdowns, including the game winner late in the fourth quarter.
"The game was just on the line, and we needed it, so I just wanted to come up big for us," Roberts said.
And Roberts did just that, and did so once again last year, hauling in yet another critical touchdown for the Silver and Black when the two teams met, this time in Week 3 of the regular season.
No. 29 also built on a strong trip to Music City, as Amerson finished the 2016 clash with two more tackles, and another five passes defensed. So for those of you doing the math at home, in just eight quarters of football, Amerson has totaled four tackles, 11 passes defensed, and an interception in the friendly confines of Music City.
So what is it about Nashville that makes him and Roberts take their respective games to another level? The atmosphere? The stadium itself? Maybe they just like country music?
Ask Amerson though, and he really couldn't tell you why that has happened in his last two trips to Tennessee.
"I don't know what it is," Amerson said. "I think he [Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota] just likes to throw to that side. Some quarterbacks like to go left, to their right, because they're right handed, and it's easier for them. I don't know."
"I think it's about how they matched up with us," Roberts posited. "The players that they have, and the defense that they run. I feel like that's why I have so much success."
Whatever the reason is, the fact remains that throughout their careers, both Amerson and Roberts have excelled against the Titans, and it's no coincidence that the Silver and Black have returned home with wins after both those games.
Amerson, Roberts, and the rest of the Raiders will once again find themselves in Nashville this weekend, and not only will the pair try to build on their past experiences in Music City, the team as a whole will look to start the 2017 season off on the right foot.
"I think especially, looking back at last year, I don't think nobody wants to start out – on defense I should say – on the wrong foot," Amerson said. "We definitely have to come out of the gate heavy. I think that's what everyone's looking for because now it's really real. The intensity raises a little bit more. It's time to go now, so we're going."