Is it possible for a player to have a break out game two weeks in a row? Last week against the Philadelphia Eagles, 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree hooked up with Alex Smith nine times for 105 yards, both game-highs in his short NFL career. It was a great performance against a tough defense, albeit a defense with its best corner not playing. Crabtree appeared to be motivated by the 49ers struggles thus far in the 2010 season, and seeing as how they're even worse off at 0-5, perhaps he can muster a strong performance again. He might even have another reason to be motivated this week than he was last week.
The Oakland Raiders were the favorites to take Crabtree with the seventh overall pick in last year's NFL Draft and they passed up on him to take a fringe-second round projection in Darrius Heyward-Bey. It's overblown sometimes, how a player can carry a grudge after such a thing, but Crabtree himself noted recently that it's something you think of. He said that it was going to be "big," this week.
Crabtree is a competitor, fiercely so, and I can see this being a big deal to him. He has the chance to vent some frustrations, frustrations concerning the team's 0-5 record, as well as the frustrations from draft day. He'll be looking to show the Raiders that they picked the wrong guy, and show Darrius Heyward-Bey who he believes is the better receiver.
Don't count out DHB having a break out game, either. This would be his chance to show the 49ers that they didn't get the best receiver in the draft, and show the Raiders that they made the right pick. It will be interesting to see what these two guys can do. The Chronicle took a quick look at the "battle," recently, so that's worth checking out.
Then again, both teams can just come out running the ball and this could all be a moot point. Who knows?