Rivera Shines in Raiders Win


Have a day, Mychal Rivera. 

The second-year tight end hauled in seven passes from QB Derek Carr for a career-high 109 yards and a touchdown in the Raiders 24-13 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

"It's huge," said Rivera about the win. "When the schedule came out it was one date that I pointed my finger on and circled the date, and we were ready to play today. These guys are right across that bridge. We had to get that win."

"I thought Mike Rivera had a huge game today," Interim Head Coach Tony Sparano said. "He came up big, made some big plays for us in the middle of the field, some run after catch plays."

The Tennessee product's five-yard touchdown from Carr with 10:43 left in the game gave the Raiders a convincing 24-13 lead in the 13th edition of the Battle of the Bay, a series that the Silver and Black now leads 7-6.

"We practice that every day," he said of his fourth-quarter touchdown. "I'm split out, if the guy's smaller than me, just throw it up and I'll jump over him and make the catch. We practice it every day and it finally happened in a game."

With his effort, Rivera became the first Raiders tight end to eclipse the 100-yard mark since Brandon Myers gained 130 yards on December 2, 2012 in a match-up with the Cleveland Browns.

After Sunday's game Rivera has 48 receptions on the year, and as the season has progressed, he and rookie QB Derek Carr have continued to grow their on-field chemistry.

"In practice we grow," Rivera said.  "Every day we're getting better. We're continuing to develop. We're going to have a special relationship in the future."

Carr agreed when discussing his tight end's impressive day at the office.

"You've got to give him credit that he made a lot of great catches and contested ones," Carr said. "That's just our chemistry building. They did a good job but obviously 'Mike' just made a lot of plays."

On several of Rivera's catches he was seemingly wide open, and he credits Carr and his maturation as a player for putting him in those positions.

"That's a testament to what Derek does," he said. "Derek is back there. Some of those, I was the second or third progression, and when he finds you, you know that's a testament to how good he is."

This was Rivera's first experience playing in the Battle of the Bay, and he was sure to bring up the energy that Raider Nation brought to O.co Coliseum on Sunday.

 "That fan base out there, Raider Nation, is incredible," he said. "No other fan base like it."

As pleased as he was with his performance on Sunday, Rivera came into the league with the goal of becoming one of the best tight ends in the NFL, and that distinction remains his motivation.

"I'm continuing to work hard every day," he said. "I'm hoping that I'm going to accomplish that goal one day."

The Raiders will enjoy this win, and then return to work later this week to begin preparation for their trip to Kansas City to play the Chiefs next Sunday.

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