One of the cores of the Raiders has always been the great QB-to-WR connection. From Snake to Biletnikoff, Plunk to Branch, and Gannon to Brown. Raiders' fans have been anxiously awaiting the next great QB-to-WR combination to follow in those massive footsteps. Now, in 2015, the Raiders have their Franchise Foundation with the AC / DC combo of Derek Carr to Amari Cooper, both young, both talented, both hard-working, and both singularly focused on a Commitment to Excellence that should make Al Davis' spirit glow.
AC/DC connected 72 times during the season for 1070 yards and 6 touchdowns in their first season together. This tandem is going to raise Hell in the NFL and cause many sleepness nights among the defensive coordinators in the AFC West. It's going to be glorious and the Nation is going to love every single moment of it.
Amari has everything you want from a WR. He's strong, he's fast, he's smart, and very polished at this early age; he's has shown that he can run a full route tree and be dangerous when running at any depth or width on the field. His limit may be defined not by what he can or cannot do, but rather what he's asked to do.
Derek has as golden an arm as any in the NFL and his quick release is at once mesmerizing and exhilarating. He's smart and studious and intent on greatness. His talent ceiling is sky-high and in the end, he may only be limited by what the offensive line will allow him to do.
Here we count down the Top 10 AC/DC Connections. Enjoy.
10. It's a Long Way to the Top
Ridin' down the highway
Goin' to a show
Stop in all the byways
Playin' rock 'n' roll
Gettin' beat up
I tell you folks
It's harder than it looks
Q2, 1-10-OAK 26 (3:21) (Shotgun) D.Carr pass deep left to A.Cooper to MIN 36 for 38 yards (A.Sendejo)
Penalty on MIN-X.Rhodes, Defensive Holding, declined.
It's a rolling pocket to the right. As the Vikings pressure attacks upfield, Carr calmly steps up into the pocket and goes up top to Amari Cooper. Against the gusting winds in the O.co on this day, Derek is able to drive the ball downfield 38 yards.
Amari breaks a defensive hold by Xavier Rhodes, gets downfield, and outjumps the safety to come down with the ball inside Vikings' territory.
Three plays later, the Raiders scored a touchdown to take a 1 point lead.
I'm dirty, mean and mighty unclean
I'm a wanted man
Public enemy number one
So lock up your daughter
Lock up your wife
Lock up your back door
And run for your life
The man is back in town
Don't you mess me 'round
'Cause I'm T.N.T. I'm dynamite
T.N.T. and I'll win the fight
T.N.T. I'm a power load
T.N.T. watch me explode
Q2, 2-15-OAK 45 (9:00) (Shotgun) D.Carr pass short middle to A.Cooper to CLV 15 for 40 yards (D.Whitner)
One of the question marks about Amari during the pre-draft process was his speed and acceleration. Even when he dispelled those criticisms by running even with physical specimen Kevin White, people still had a few doubts; he just never "looked" that fast on film.
Amari blew any of those criticisms away all year, but perhaps the best example of his explosion was on this play against Cleveland.
Derek Carr sees Amari get wide open in the middle of the Browns' defense and delivers the ball right on time. Cooper gets the ball and accelerates away from the chasers, nonchalantly dynamite-stiffarms the closing safety, and then turns the corner to get upfield It's 40 yards in a heartbeat.
8. Big Balls
I've got big balls
I've got big balls
And they're such big balls
Dirty big balls
And he's got big balls,
And she's got big balls,
But we've got the biggest balls of them all!
Q2, 3-14-OAK 49 (6:40) (Shotgun) D.Carr pass deep right to A.Cooper to SD 7 for 44 yards (J.Wilson)
It's 3rd-and-14. Derek Carr doesn't want just a first down, he wants a big chunk so AC/DC is going to take a shot downfield.
A beautiful route and surprising suddenness allows Amari to blow right by CB Jason Verrett.
The safety comes over to help but it doesn't matter. Derek trusts his WR to get the ball and so he puts up the Alley-Oop pass. Amari goes up and highpoints the jumpball right in front of the safety.
44 yards against two players and AC/DC makes it look easy.
I gotta keep that motor turning
I gotta keep that engine clean
I gotta keep those tires burning
I've got the best you've ever seen
And I'm a heatseeker burning up your town
And I'm a heatseeker, and I, I don't need no life preserver
I don't need no one to hose me down
Q3, 2-10-OAK 19 (10:08) D.Carr pass deep right to A.Cooper to GB 40 for 41 yards (M.Burnett; D.Randall).
The wonderful thing about Amari is that he's a multi-faceted receiver. He can do just about anything on the field that you want. Underneath, over-the-top, in the middle. Whatever.
This time, he shows that he can be a downfield missile.
Against Green Bay and Demarious Randall, Amari takes off down the sideline.
Derek Carr sits in the pocket against the blitz and, with a flick of his wrist, delivers the ball right between the CB and the closing deep safety. Just a touch underthrown, but still a beauty of a throw for 41 yards.
6. Chase the Ace
Q4, 3-5-OAK 47 (12:11) (Shotgun) D.Carr pass deep right to A.Cooper pushed ob at TEN 12 for 41 yards (B.Wreh-Wilson).
Penalty on TEN-B.Wreh-Wilson, Defensive Holding, declined.
If a DB gives up a step to Cooper without safety help, they are going to be in Chase mode and in trouble.
You know what AC/DC likes to do against a blitz : go downfield.
Here, Amari goes vertical against Blidi Wreh-Wilson and gets a couple of steps on him. Wreh-Wilson knows he's beaten and panics; he grabs Cooper, trying to hold him up.
It doesn't matter. DC delivers a beautiful rainbox 41 yards downfield right into AC's waiting arms.