Is it Martavis Bryant’s turn to have a big game for the Raiders?

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    This Oakland Raiders offense offers quarterback Derek Carr some solid weapons to target in the passing game. Between receivers Amari Cooper , Jordy Nelson, and Martavis Bryant, and tight end Jared Cook, Carr are sure to find one. Once Jon Gruden finds the week’s go-to match-up, he will relentlessly pick on it. In Week 1 against the Los Angeles Rams, Cook had the big match-up advantage, so Carr went to him 12 times for nine catches for 180 yards. Cook got big chunks of those yards on receptions of 45, 32, and 28 yards. With Cooper catching just one pass for 9 yards in the opener, in Week 2 against the Denver Broncos, it was his turn to be the focus. Carr got the ball to him on all 10 attempts to him for 116 yards with a long of 30 yards on the day. Carr mainly threw quick passes that day and Cooper was able to make himself available to him a lot. Then last week against the Dolphins, Jordy Nelson was up. He had been forgotten to that point and suddenly he went off. The Raiders exploited his match-up to get six catches on eight attempts for 173 yards and a touchdown. Much of his yards came on the first two drives with catches of 61 and 66 yards.The logical question is who will be the guy this week? How about Martavis Bryant?The super talented but embattled WR was among the roster cuts and was brought back after week one. In his two games back, Bryant has just six catches on nine attempts for 60 yards. But Cooper and Nelson were also non-factors in their other two games, so recent history would suggest Bryant is due for his big game against the Cleveland Browns.Match-up wise, Denzel Ward is the only Browns cornerback that has the speed and athleticism to stay with Bryant. The 5’11” Ward runs a 4.3 40 and has a 39-inch vertical leap. Bryant also has a 39-inch vertical leap but he’s 6’4”. Ward will likely be on Cooper most of the time anyway as he is the Raiders WR1.Browns CB2 Terrance Mitchell is also 5’11” and runs a 4.6 40. We already know CB3 TJ Carrie doesn’t do well against speed from his time with the Raiders. Thus far Martavis has been mostly an athletic decoy and weapon on gimmick plays.“He’s demanded coverage,” Gruden said of Bryant Wednesday. “I think he helps Amari have big days. I think he helps Jordy have big days and I think he made some big plays. Third down receptions the other day. We tried to get him the ball on a double reverse, or a gimmick play, we didn’t it execute it very well but his presence out there is a difference. Everybody knows who is and what he is capable of doing.”The Browns know the Raiders are trying to establish Cooper as the focal point of their passing game. So they’ll likely put Ward on him and see what he can do to slow him down. Then there’s Nelson and Cook, who have already shown what they can do in the Raiders’ offense. So Bryant may have the match-up Gruden can relentlessly pick on.Raiders week three Ballers & Busters vs Dolphins It’s getting pretty redundant in Silver & Black these days. It’s a bit of a task to come up with a new way to say late game collapse for the third straight week. The makings of them are a bit different, but the end result is the same.The Raiders start fast, scoring on their opening possession Oakland Raiders T-Shirt , take a lead into the third quarter, watch the pieces start to come off in the third quarter, and the whole thing fall apart completely in the fourth. Rinse and repeat.As each week, there are differences in the details as well as who steps up and who gives the game away. So, let’s get to that.BallersJordy NelsonI guess it was just his turn. The other two top Raiders receivers each had big games in the first two games, and Nelson was next in line. Nelson had 3 catches for 139 yards and a touchdown on the first two possessions alone. His first catch came on a slant about 15 yards out, which he caught in stride and made it 61 yards before being caught from behind. Two plays later, Carr went back to Jordy for the touchdown from 12 yards out.The second drive, he got behind his defender and Carr found him again. This time Jordy made it 66 yards to the 8-yard-line before being caught from behind. Unfortunately they were unable to finish that one off with a score, going for it on 4th and goal at the one with Keith Smith unable to punch it in. It’s quite a shame to have those two big catches, neither of which were for touchdowns, and one didn’t result in a score at all. Nelson did everything except have the speed he needed to go the distance. In both instances he had a good five yards on his defender when he caught the ball. And in both instances, he was chased down. But not before he picked up over 60 yards.Jordy would add a 12-yard catch to lead out their scoring drive at the end of the second quarter as well as a 16-yard catch late in the fourth quarter on what should have been a scoring drive. He finished with 6 catches on 8 targets for 173 yards and a touchdown.Marshawn LynchJordy Nelson had the big plays early, but it was Marshawn that was the gears that kept things going the rest of the game. And he did it against a stout Dolphins defensive line.On their second scoring drive of the game, he had runs of 5, 4, 5, 1 (on third and one), and 5 (on first and goal from the 7-yard-line). If the Raiders were smart they would have given it to him again on second and/or third and goal from the 2-yard-line. But they didn’t. And the result was settling for a field goal.The first drive of the third quarter he had an 8-yard catch, slipped on a 2-yard run, a 5-yard first down run Oakland Raiders Hats , anda 7-yard run. This time they wised up at least enough to give it to Marshawn on 3rd and goal at the one foot mark and he dove over the line for the score to give the Raiders a 17-7 lead.Down 21-17 late in the fourth quarter, the Raiders drove into the red zone. Despite the late game in the hot and humid Miami, Marshawn went full on Beast Mode, catching a short pass and breaking several tackles before being brought down after picking up 14 yards.Marshawn finished with 86 yards of offense (64 rushing) on 22 touches with a touchdown. And every yard he picked up was hard fought right until the end. He doesn’t have quit in him. After the game, he spoke to us, and talked about how hot and muggy it was out there鈥?while wearing a beanie.Leon HallThe first defensive play of the game for the Raiders, Hall had a run stuff tackle out left to help send the Dolphins offense off the field with a three-and-out to start the game. The following drive, he made the tackle short of the sticks on third down to force a punt. The next play he was in the game, he was held to draw a penalty and lead out another three-and-out. Three consecutive drives to start the game that Hall was a major factor in stalling drives.He was also not among those victimized on any of the Dolphins four touchdowns. He did, however, end the first drive of the fourth quarter by shooting in on the blitz on third down and batting down the pass attempt. It was one of just two drives the Dolphins had in the second half that didn’t result in a touchdown.Clinton McDonaldI think I can safely say there is an upgraded number 97 in Oakland. In just his second game with the Raiders, McDonald has emerged as the Raiders best interior defensive lineman.With the Dolphins down 7-0, they got the ball early in the second quarter. On both of the first two plays, McDonald made the run stuff at the line. What should have been a three-and-out was ripped from the Raiders because of one of those bullshit roughing the passer penalties on Maurice Hurst. The complete ridiculous nonsense was offsetting to allow the Dolphins to replay the down. The next play, the Dolphins completed a 34-yard touchdown pass to tie it up at 7-7.After the Raiders re-took the lead 10-7 late in the second quarter, McDonald slammed the door with a sack on Ryan Tannehill and a nine-yard loss. It was the Raiders only sack of the day. McDonald tied with Leon Hall for second on the team with 3 combined tackles (2 solo).Honorable MentionDoug Martin – His best outing as a Raider with 43 yards on 9 carries (4.8 ypc) and his best run that went for 15 yards to put the Raiders in scoring position late in the 4th quarter, followed by a 6-yard run that set them up in the red zone.Arden Key – It’s becoming clear he is pretty much all they got in terms of pass rush. He had two QB hits in the game. One on third down to force a punt. He even had a couple run stops, which is good to see from the pure pass rusher.Continue to the Busters

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