While the 2017 season for the Raiders has been underwhelming, Michael Crabtree has shined on.
This was expected to be the season that Amari Cooper “took it to the next level;” instead, Michael Crabtree has been the MVP for the Oakland Raiders. Is it surprising? No, not really.
Since arriving with the Silver and Black, Crabtree has asserted himself as the most dependable of the Raiders’ weapons, save for the quarterback himself, Derek Carr. The numbers certainly show such praise is warranted since his arrival: 21 touchdowns, 2,177 receiving yards, and 193 total receptions. Clearly, since leaving the San Francisco 49ers, Crabtree has experienced a renaissance but never has it been clearer than this current season.
Call it a “no-show” by Cooper this season or perhaps, the struggles of a first-year coordinator in Todd Downing, but Crabtree’s performances have been all too important as the defense continues to carry the team. In fact, per PFF, Crabtree is the only Raiders’ receiver in the Top 20 with a current rating of 79.5. He also leads the team in receiving yards with 252 and is tied with Jared Cook with 19 receptions. Safe to say that Crabtree is, in fact, the number one receiver on this team.
Can Crabtree keep this up with so much going on around him?
The offensive struggles are well documented at this point; the changing of offensive schemes seems to be having quite the effect. But to be fair, it’s also possible that many other factors have hampered this once offensive juggernaut. Whether it was the nationally televised spanking or the political distractions, something’s not right. In spite of that, Raider Nation can take solace in knowing Crabtree will be a constant. For those who say, “what about the possibility of declining speed or injuries?” Well, each year statistically his yards per reception have gotten higher: 10.3 in his final year with the 49ers, 10.8 first year with Oakland then 11.3 the next, and this year 13.3 respectively. Yeah “King Crab” isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
He’s a leader and quite frankly, Cooper isn’t, at least not at this point in his career. Crabtree is as emotional as they come, though not quite on the level of “Beast Mode”. But more than anything, he wants to win. If the rest of the pieces can at some point come together this year then no doubt Crabtree could end up having a truly special year.