Denarius Moore matched his preseason performance (above) with a breakout game against Buffalo Sunday. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Possibly the only thing good to come out of the Raiders’ come-from-ahead loss to Buffalo Sunday was the emergence of wide receiver Denarius Moore.
After being the star of training camp, the rookie from Tennessee didn’t catch a pass in Oakland’s Week 1 victory over the Broncos.
But with receivers Louis Murphy, Jacoby Ford and Darrius Heyward-Bey all on the sideline with injuries in Week 2, Moore got a chance to show what he could do in a regular-season game.
With five catches for 146 yards – and an eye-popping grab on a 50-yard TD pass late in the second half – Moore showed he may be one of the Raiders’ most dynamic players. He also picked up 25 yards on a reverse.
Certainly, he’ll get more of a chance to make an impact.
Head coach Hue Jackson said Moore has earned more playing time.
“Oh, boy, you better believe he has,” Jackson told the Oakland Tribune. “There’s no doubt. You can’t deny that one. … He is as advertised. He made some plays. It’s going to be hard to keep that young man off the field.”
Also making an impression against the Bills was Derek Hagan, who had five receptions for 61 yards.
Quarterback Jason Campbell said the emergence of Moore and Hagan is “big for our offense,” because the duo will give him that many more options once Murphy, Ford and Heyward-Bey are healthy. And reports are they may be for Sunday’s game against the Jets.
Campbell told the Tribune that with that number of capable receivers, the offense will be able to use multiple sets and formations to give opposing defenses more to worry about.
Moore says he was happy to step in and contribute, but wasn’t crowing, labeling it “an OK day for me” while lamenting the loss.
“I came in and made plays when they called upon me,” he said.
It appears now that those calls will be more frequent.