ALAMEDA – Raiders receiver Michael Crabtree was a star of Sunday’s 37-33 win over the Baltimore Ravens. He had nine catches for 111 yards and a touchdown in a come-from-behind victory.
Head coach Jack Del Rio obviously liked those efforts. There were moments outside the camera's eye that made Crabtree's performance special.
“I thought Michael Crabtree had a phenomenal game,” Del Rio said Monday in a press conference. “It’s not just catching the ball. He made some unbelievable catches in clutch situations, but the unselfishness, the way he blocked on the perimeter. Just really, really terrific on his part.
“The unselfish part is what I really appreciate, where he’s doing the extra blocking, doing some of the dirty work. Obviously some of those conversions on third down were huge.”
Crabtree had three catches over 14 yards, and seven total that went for first downs. The former 49ers receiver has been a bright spot for the Raiders since training camp, and built a quick rapport with quarterback Derek Carr.
Crabtree has been targeted 24 times in two games, often in important moments. Crabtree has an excellent catching radius and knows how to get open, making him the safest bet in crunch time.
His touchdown catch came from finding a soft spot deep in the zone and stayed open for Carr to find him.
Crabtree made a pivotal catch on Carr’s game-winning two-minute drill, when he made a difficult catch near the sideline for a 14-yard gain that also stopped the clock. The Raiders scored three plays later.
“The quarterback stuck in there just like everybody else,” Crabtree said. “The offensive line did good. The running backs making extra plays. The wide receivers out there doing all they can do. It was a good team win.”
While Crabtree and Cooper played important roles with 100-plus yards receiving each, Carr spread the ball around to 10 different receivers while scoring 37 points. They converted 9-of-14 third downs and scored two touchdowns in three red zone trips. The offense kept on moving, even when the pressure was on.
“I love to see the productivity of the offense – moving the ball, scoring points, answering challenges,” Del Rio said. “I just thought they did a really nice job yesterday of moving the football, of executing the game plan. A lot of factors went into it. The line play was talked about. I think the unselfish play by our wide outs was part of it.”