Raiders teammates of the week

Levi Damien

There wasn't a whole lot of good teamwork that happened on the Raiders' side of things last week against the Eagles so this was a tough one. In a 49-20 blowout, there are few examples of where teammates stepped up to help each other out. But I managed to find at least one example for this week's teammates of the week.

Matt McCants, Menelik Watson

The definition of "Next man up". McCants was holding things down pretty well at right tackle for the Raiders. He was quite a find this season when he was cut from the Giants' final roster. He suffered a toe injury in the second quarter of this game. If he hadn't, it is very likely he would have been able to face the team who drafted him in the sixth round last year and then gave up on him before this season.

Unfortunately for him, he will not be playing in the game and will just have to watch from the sideline as Menelik Watson gets his first NFL start. Watson came in for McCants last week and executed the duties at right tackle with equal precision to McCants. Before this week, that tag team would not have been possible. Watson came back from his calf injury last week and was activated for the first time this season.

On doesn't like to think of there being a ‘good time' to come down with an injury but one could say there were certainly worse times for McCants to go down with that injury. The previous two weeks the Raiders had signed practice squad player Jack Cornell to the active roster as an emergency option for both tackle positions. To take nothing away from Cornell, having Watson available is far preferable.

Despite Watson not practicing a snap at right tackle last week or in training camp, he stepped right in for McCants and the Raiders' offense didn't miss a beat. Watson played 57 snaps and received a top pass blocking grade from Pro Football Focus. Neither gave up a sack in the game and they also kept the pocket pretty clean all day. The same can't be said for the rest of the line or the blitz pickups.

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