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Did Raiders Seth Roberts disastrous first half vs Patriots open the door for Cordarrelle Patterson at wide receiver?

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Patterson should be Raiders #3 wide receiver

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Buffalo Bills Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

To say that Raiders wide out Seth Roberts had a rough first half in Sundays loss to the New England Patriots is like saying the Titanic has a little water damage. While it would be unfair to heap all of the blame of this blow out on him, it is the appropriate place to start.

In the Raiders first offensive series Roberts dropped what would have been a first down forcing a punt.

On the second series he had a false start. Most notably he had a game changing fumble as the offense looked liked they would cut the deficit going into halftime.

New England was up 14-0 with around 30 seconds left in the second quarter. Roberts catches quarterback Derek Carr’s pass that should have given the Raiders a first and goal at about the 3-yard-line. Instead Roberts’ poor ball discipline allowed the defense to force a fumble that the Patriots would turn into a 17-0 halftime lead.

This possibly 10-point swing was not the difference in the game but New England also received the second half kickoff and drove for another touchdown. From the time Seth handed the ball over util the Raiders offense saw the field again, New England had extended a 14-0 lead to 24-0. So, while Roberts did not single-handedly cost Oakland this game, he was certainly the single biggest contributor to the teams loss.

The drops and lack of concentration are nothing new for Roberts, he had the same problems last season. The saying ‘winning masks all deficiencies’ really comes to mind because it was his knack for making a big play to close out a win that made people forget his drops and inconsistencies.

He’s not alone, though. Drops have been a team-wide problem the Raiders can’t seem to correct.

“You know we’ll do what we can,” Del Rio said Monday. “We got some new balls that we’re going to be using in the weight room. Throw it off the wall and be able to catch it. (laughing) We’re going to try just about everything. We’ll keep working at it. I believe they come in bunches. I’m shock that we’re not catching at a higher rate as receivers and as DBs. I mean we’ve had our hands on enough balls, we should have plenty in that interception category. We count on our receivers getting those plays made.”

A question the coaching staff must answer now is if Roberts is the best player they could have on the field. They brought in wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson this past offseason to boost the return game and add another weapon to a supposedly stacked offensive unit. It may be time to see what they have in Patterson.

Roberts has gotten 383 offensive snaps compared to 226 for Cordarrelle. That should lead to a big production difference between their stats, it hasn’t. Roberts has 22 receptions for 236 yards (10.7 avg.) and one touchdown. Patterson has accumulated 18 receptions for 114 yards (6.3 avg.) as well as 10 carries for 124 yards (12.4 avg.) and 2 touchdowns.

A wide receiver’s production is not completely within their control as they cannot throw themselves the ball but their ability to get separation with their route running and actually holding on to the ball certainly play a big part. Patterson has shown he can do that in his opportunities this season. Roberts on the other hand is continuing to prove that the inconsistencies of last season are a more accurate image of his capabilities than his late game heroics.

While the Raiders offensive coaching staff have really struggled utilizing the weapons at their disposal this year, they should find ways to get Patterson more involved. He should even be considered their #3 wide receiver at this point as they lack any other legitimate option. That is unless the coaching staff doesn’t mind seeing this every week.


Should Patterson take over as the Raiders No. 3 WR?

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