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Raiders Wide Receiving Corps Shows Off Depth In Win Over Broncos

And then there were three.

As the Oakland Raiders marched through what was arguably their most important game of 2017 – a Week 12 divisional matchup against the Denver Broncos – Derek Carr and the team's offense leaned heavily on a trio of wide receivers, but not the trio that you likely thought it would be headed into Sunday afternoon.

Without the services of Michael Crabtree (ejected in the first quarter) and Amari Cooper (ruled out with a concussion in the second quarter); before the first half officially ended, the Raiders were without their top two wide outs, and as such, had to lean on the unlikely triumvirate of Johnny Holton, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Seth Roberts for a majority of the game.

And give credit to the trio; the group collectively answered the call, finishing the 21-14 win with a combined seven catches for 151 yards.

"Our coaches get us prepared every week; our coach [Wide Receivers Coach Rob Moore], and [Assistant Wide Receivers Coach] Nick [Holtz], to know our assignments, so whenever someone goes down, the next guy can come in and do their thing," said Roberts postgame. "I feel like that's what happened. Johnny Holton and C.P. [Patterson] were ready. We were together, and we were locked in. When we were on the field we had that mentality like, we all we got. We have to hold it down for those dudes."

With Cooper sidelined, and Crabtree relegated to watching nearly the entire game from a suite at the OACC, Offensive Coordinator Todd Downing was not only down his top two receivers, he was without the services of what could be considered one of the best wide receiver tandems in the NFL.

But, somehow, someway, the Silver and Black found a way to consistently move the ball against the Broncos highly-ranked defense, en route to scoring three touchdowns before day's end.

"Preparing for games, I'm mostly throwing to Crab, Coop, Seth in practice, and some game plan specific to those other guys," Derek Carr said following the win. "But for them to be able to come in, and me not throw a lot of balls to them – timing wise, for them to be able to step in and not miss a beat. There's things that we'll clean up, you know – timing wise and things like that. But for them to be able to come in and make the plays they made… I have all the confidence in the world in those guys."

"Props to those guys," added tackle Marshall Newhouse. "We have a lot of depth. Those guys have a lot of talent, but it's just good on them [for] being in the game plan, and being ready to go; being asked [to do] what they needed to do, and then like C.P. and Johnny, just making big plays when we needed them. At a certain point, there can't be an excuse, like, 'oh, he's a backup. He's not *the *guy.' You just have to go play, and go win, and both of those guys – and Seth – came in there, and did their job and helped us out."

As Newhouse said, credit is certainly due to the trio of Holton, Patterson, and Roberts; without their collective big days, it's unclear if the Raiders head out of Week 12 with a much-needed win under their collective belts.

And in the big moments, well, really the *biggest *moment of the game, a third and eight inside their own 20-yard line with just over two minutes left in regulation – a moment that typically results in a target to Michael Crabtree or Amari Cooper – Carr was able to put the final nail in the coffin, which on Sunday took the form of a 54-yard catch and run by Patterson.

"They went cover zero, I don't know why they would do that," Patterson said. "I guess because [we] were down two receivers they thought they could get pressure on Derek, but he did an excellent job seeing man coverage, and just seeing me one-on-one with the free safety or cornerback or whoever it was. He just put the ball so perfect there was no way I couldn't make a play on that."

It's unclear how long the Raiders will be without Cooper and Crabtree, but regardless of what the future holds for the position group, Sunday's collective performance was a validating one for the wide receivers.

"We really had to have our guys back, especially with 'Coop' going out, and 'Crab,'" Roberts explained. "That was big. That was really big for those guys to come in and make it work. It's big for our receivers group because we had so much thrown at us, and it's big how we come through for each other. Our group, we're blessed right now. We feel good going into next week."

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