Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller recently received an honor that further exemplifies how special the 2020 season has been for him.
In a season that has gone nowhere for the Raiders, there’s been one constant. Waller has been the offensive MVP for the Silver and Black and has become the de-facto number one wide receiver. Head coach Jon Gruden’s offense has been carrier by Waller and quarterback Derek Carr’s chemistry. Though most recently, ’83’ played just as well when Marcus Mariota came in lieu of Carr. Being nominated to his first NFL Pro Bowl has brought Waller’s story full circle, possibly cementing him as the face of the Raiders.
Waller’s Flourished With The Raiders
Coming off a season where Waller surprised folks in 2019, the former Ravens practice squad player has flourished with the Raiders. He quickly emerged as Carr’s go-to target, even more so in 2020 with 129 targets.
Waller has made the most of those targets, amassing 93 receptions for 967 yards and eight touchdowns. By doing so, he’s helped the Raiders move the chains week in and out with 59 first down catches.
Opposing defenses have had to modify their plans in attacking the Raiders, ‘D-Wall’ has to be accounted for every game. He also punishes defenses, Waller has 504 yards after the catch with seven broken tackles to his name. James Fragoza of Pro Football Focus recently recounted Waller’s most recent performance, which stands as more proof of his dominance.
‘He [Waller] erupted against the Charges’ porous pass defense, catching nine passes for 150 yards, one touchdown and a stellar seven first downs.’
Regardless of what happens this season as a team, Waller’s emerged as the Silver and Black’s sole star.
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*Top Photo: Bobby Ellis/Getty Images