When it comes to the Las Vegas Raiders offense in 2020, there are many things that stand out. One of them is the performance of wide receiver Nelson Agholor, who is having a career renaissance with the Silver and Black.
Nelson Agholor has been a key contributor for the Raiders in 2020
The Raiders’ brass knew the team needed talent if they wanted to improve their 2019’s 7-9 record. They were aggressive in free agency and they added plenty of talent on both sides of the ball. They showed they meant business when they signed players such as linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski and backup quarterback Marcus Mariota. On the other hand, the addition of Agholor didn’t garner as many headlines.
The reason was that the Raiders drafted wide receivers Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards in the players’ selection process. The rookies would get the spotlight while ‘Nelly’ became somewhat of an afterthought in the offseason. However, the former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver showed right off the bat that he was going to become a key cog in the team’s offense this season.
Agholor hauled in just one catch in the season opener but it was a 23-yard touchdown reception. That would be a sign of things to come the following weeks. Although he caught more than two receptions in one game in the first five weeks of the season, all of them were long completions. All in all, he displayed reliable hands and hauled in ten receptions for 185 yards in that span. Also, his 18.5 yard per reception displayed his big-play prowess.
Let’s focus on the positives
One stat that haunted Agholor back in the ‘City of Brotherly Love’ was his number of dropped passes. During his tenure with the Eagles, he dropped 24. This season, he didn’t have one until the Raiders Week 7 matchup against the Buccaneers. In fact, he had two against the ‘Bucs’ but thinking that he was a big reason the team lost would be shortsighted.
Agholor hauled in five receptions for 107 yards and one touchdown against the ‘Bucs’. He was the only Raiders wide receiver that had more than 50 yards, so he needs to catch a break. It’s true that his drops hurt the team, but not to the point of becoming a determining factor in the loss. If someone deserves blame, and rightfully so, it’s a defensive unit that allowed 45 points and didn’t seem to have answers for a potent Buccaneers offense.
Looking back, Agholor’s drops against the ‘Bucs’ seem like an outlier and not the norm. While they plagued him back in Philadelphia, he looks like a different wide receiver now. If ‘Nelly’ keeps dropping passes in upcoming games, the Raiders will have a legitimate reason to be concerned. Until then, we need to appreciate the impact he’s had for the Silver and Black.
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Top Photo: Isaac Brekken/Associated Press