About the Author
Recent posts by Mike Wilkening
Here's a matchup to watch in Sunday's Browns-Raiders game.
Browns TEs Benjamin Watson and Evan Moore vs. Oakland's pass defense
The Raiders have had their problems stopping tight ends in recent weeks. The Jets' Dustin Keller caught five passes for 87 yards (nine targets) in Week Three. Last week, Texans TEs Joel Dreessen (nine targets, five catches, 112 yards, one TD) and Owen Daniels (11 targets, seven catches, 89 yards) gave them fits, too. Dreessen broke free on a 56-yard TD on a well-designed, slow-developing play-action pass in which he blocked initially, then ran to the far side of the field. No one covered him, and he was off to the races.
Daniels' long catch of 28 yards vs. Oakland was on a more conventional play. Daniels simply ran past Raiders OLB Quentin Groves, who didn't drop deep enough quickly enough, and QB Matt Schaub hit Daniels down the middle.
Watson, who has been targeted a team-high 30 times, catching 16-173-2, runs well, as does Moore (7-85-2 with 12 targets). Moore is likely to be a bigger part of the offense than he was before the bye, and more two-TE sets are possible. "Evan Moore needs to be in there more," head coach Pat Shurmur said this week.
Considering the success other clubs have targeting tight ends vs. Oakland, Watson and Moore could be key parts of the game plan Sunday.