The Las Vegas Raiders’ Week 12 win on Thanksgiving over the Dallas Cowboys was not only a season-saving victory, but it was also a breakout game for DeSean Jackson. Jackson had three catches for 102 yards and a touchdown in his third game with the Raiders.
In his first two games combined, QB Derek Carr only found him one time for 38 yards. The game against the Cowboys was the first time he was able to replace the hole left by Henry Ruggs when he was released by the team earlier this season.
Carr believes that Jackson being around the team more allowed him to finally get more snaps and opportunities last Thursday, which led to the breakout game, according to Paul Gutierrez of ESPN:
“Just because we called a play for him where he’s the No. 1 option doesn’t mean I’m just going to drop back and throw it up to him,” said Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. “It has to be the right look, it has to be the right coverage. I think what we saw in the Dallas game was he was on the field more; he had more opportunities.”
“That’s him just being able to handle more and being in the system more and being able to play more,” Carr said. “I think that him being able to do that obviously gives us that stretch that we’re going to need for everyone else to get active, too.”
Jackson being a regular part of the Raiders offense will open things up for Carr and the other receivers. Hunter Renfrow was the biggest beneficiary of the offense being more open, snagging eight catches for 134 yards against the Cowboys.
The Raiders will need their offense at full strength as they try to make a late-season playoff push. They currently sit one game out of the AFC Wild Card picture.
Darren Waller week-to-week
It doesn’t look like star tight end Darren Waller will play this Sunday when the Raiders take on the Washington Football Team. Rich Bisaccia described Waller as week-to-week, meaning a Week 14 return is absolutely possible.