With the wind swirling and the rain coming down in droves Sunday afternoon at Nissan Stadium, second-year wide receiver Seth Roberts was still seeing crystal clear.
What he saw was his own dream unfolding before him, and it was a vision he's seen since last season, when he spent all 16 games on the Oakland Raiders practice squad as an undrafted rookie free agent from West Alabama.
"I had a vision, yes…I really did," said Roberts. "I just had a vision and wanted to ball on Sundays with the fellas, man. I wanted to see how it feels."
And now for the Raiders slot receiver, it feels pretty good – particularly after delivering the type of performance he did Sunday afternoon against the Tennessee Titans.
In the wind and rain, Roberts enjoyed a career day, in front of 18 friends and family no less, catching 6 passes for 113 yards and 2 touchdowns, including the game-winner with 1:27 left in the game.
"It's an awesome feeling, just to have my family watching in the stands," Roberts said. "It was a pretty great feeling and I just want to thank the guys for believing in me."
Roberts' rise from practice player to key contributor in just one year is impressive, but maybe even more so when you consider how far he's actually come since entering the league.
"He's like the hero story," quarterback Derek Carr said during his postgame press conference. "He's caught what, two game-winners now? He's a guy that's undrafted. The first day we throw routes, it didn't look as pretty as we wanted it too. The guy has consistently worked his tail off to make the practice squad, then to make the 53, to be the starting slot and now he's making game-winning catches."
Added Carr, "I think that Disney will write a movie about him some day."
All jokes aside, Roberts' improvement and productivity is hard to ignore – his 352 receiving yards ranks behind just Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, and the Moultrie, Ga.-native credits his offseason work, both on and off-the-field for his recent success.
"Working in the offseason, taking it more seriously and just having a vision," Roberts said. "Maturing too, off the field. For you to do your thing on the field you have to be mature off the field."
He's now certainly doing his thing on the field, even earning a jovial jab from future Hall of Famer Charles Woodson after the game, as Woodson imitated him during his postgame remarks.
"The game is about opportunities; when you get your opportunity as a player, young, old or whatever it is, when you get your opportunity you have to make the most of it and today was huge for this team," Woodson said. "For him to go out there and put together the type of game he put together – it saved us, man. We needed it."
The Raiders especially needed Roberts on their final drive of the game, down by four and needing to find the end zone to, for all intents and purposes, keep their season alive.
And once again, the unlikely hero rose to the occasion, hauling in a 12-yard touchdown pass from Carr to give his team a lead with less than 2:00 on the clock.
"He [Carr] told me he loved me and I told him I loved him too," Roberts said when talking about the moments after his game-winning catch. "He always tells us that he loves us. He believes in us and that's big. That goes a long way. We feed off of each other, [and] just try to do the best we can for each other."
The Raiders now own an overall record of 5-6 and have once again inserted themselves into the AFC playoff conversation, something that would likely have been out of reach if not for Sunday's win.
"We really needed this one," Roberts said. "We just have to work hard during the week and make it happen on Sundays when it counts."
Each Sunday in the NFL is big, but this past one might have been bigger than most, and when the Raiders needed him the most, former-practice player Seth Roberts definitely made it happen, but don't mistake his exuberance for surprise – he saw it coming all the way.