The Oakland Raiders did not have their three top receivers for their week two game against the Buffalo Bills and it did not matter. After Jason Campbell put up rather unimpressive numbers in their week one game against the Denver Broncos, he was able to put together one of his best games as a Raider against the Bills in week two.
Many were concerned that the Raiders would have serious struggles in the passing game with Darrius Heyward-Bey, Louis Murphy and Jacoby Ford all sitting out. Those people, however did not include anyone who followed the Raiders closely in training camp and the preseason. For those who did follow the Raiders closely, this was an exciting opportunity to see what the Raiders leading preseason receiver Derek Hagan and this year's rookie sensation, Denarius Moore could do with more playing time.
Neither disappointed as Hagan had a solid outing, while Denarius Moore was simply amazing.
Derek Hagan led the Raiders receiving corps in the preseason in dominant fashion. However, despite that, Hue Jackson decided to keep Hagan inactive, When given the chance to play due to all of the injuries, Hagan took advantage. He finished the game with 5 catches for 61 yards, that's one catch and 17 yards better than the Raiders leading receiver in week one.
However, what may be the most important statistic for Hagan was his 8 targets. That tied every other receiving option for Campbell on the day. In the preseason it looked as though Campbell and Hagan began to develop strong chemistry that showed again in their game against the Bills. Campbell feels comfortable throwing to Hagan and if Hue Jackson is smart, he will take notice and begin to get Hagan more playing time.
And then there was Denarius Moore. The fifth round pick out of the University of Tennessee had the Raiders coaching staff and fans drooling over his potential during training camp and the preseason. His combination of speed, clean routes, good hands and ability to change direction on the stop of a dime make him a serious threat, and on Sunday, the Bills learned just how big of a threat he is.
Moore finished the game with 5 catches for 146 yards and a touchdown plus a 25 yards on the ground that he picked up on a double reverse. Not only were his numbers impressive, but the way he put them up was also something to see. Looking a lot like a rookie last season by the name of Jacoby Ford, Moore had to go up and fight for a couple of his bigger catches of the night.
Last but not least, Jason Campbell made a big statement to his detractors in week two. Many believe that Campbell, who is in the final year of his contract with the Raiders, can no longer rely on the excuses people have made for him in the past. There has been a ton of talk about Campbell having to constantly deal with learning new offenses and playing behind inferior lines with average receiving options. Well, he is in his second year in Hue Jackson's offense and is playing under Al Saunders for the second time. The Raiders offensive line has done a good job in pass protection and right now, the Raiders look to have a good problem of an over crowded receiving corps.
When given the opportunity to show what he could do against the Bills in week two, Campbell also did not disappoint. In week one, the Raiders did not need to throw the ball much and as a result, Campbell came off looking lackluster. This week, the Raiders aired out the ball as Campbell completed 22 of 33 for 323 yards and two touchdowns. Campbell is also credited with one interception, but that came on a hail mary pass with one second left to play in the game.
While the loss to the Bills is a tough one to swallow, Raiders fans can and should be happy with the way the Raiders passing game performed.