Early in Week 1’s game against the Baltimore Ravens, it looked like the Las Vegas Raiders offense was going to be far too reliant on star tight end Darren Waller. He received 19 targets in that game. However, the Raiders’ other weapons have started to come alive.
Bryan Edwards and Henry Ruggs were supposed to have big rookie seasons last year but only combined for 37 catches for 645 yards. The two have come alive for the Raiders this season. In three games, Ruggs has 11 catches for 237 yards and Edwards has 10 catches 210 yards. Both receivers are on pace to break 1,000 receiving yards this season. Last year, it just didn’t seem like quarterback Derek Carr or head coach Jon Gruden were confident in either of them. That is no longer the case as the two have been impressive all offseason and early in the season.
“I’m always going to be confident in those guys,” Gruden said of Ruggs and Edwards after Sunday’s 31-28 win over the Miami Dolphins. “We were confident on draft day. All they have to do is keep playing and keep taking advantage of their at-bats. Both of those guys had big days today against one of the better secondaries in pro football. The fun thing for me is I see these young guys really coming alive. I see a different look in their eyes. I see a different confidence.”
If Ruggs and Edwards continue to improve, the Raiders have one of the best passing attacks in the NFL.
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Ruggs & Edwards Dominating the 4th Quarter
The most exicting thing about Ruggs and Edwards is how they’re playing when the team needs them most. Edwards currently leads the NFL in receiving yards in the fourth quarter and overtime with 163. Who’s in second place? Ruggs with 130 yards.
Obviously, the two overtime games help pad those stats a bit but there’s no doubt the wide receivers are stepping up when they’re needed. It’s clear that Waller and Hunter Renfrow aren’t the only two dependable receivers on the team.
Renfrow Praises Ruggs & Edwards
Despite Ruggs and Edwards not having great rookie seasons, the Raiders showed trust in them by not making any big moves at wide receiver in the offseason. Renfrow is loving what he’s seeing from his fellow wideouts.
“I love Bryan and Henry; it’s so much fun watching them play,” Renfrow said. “I get to run a route and usually we throw it deep, and I just sit there and watch, and I got the best seat in the house. It’s fun being their teammates and watching them develop because they took a lot of criticism from a lot of people last year.
“Watching them work this whole offseason has been cool. And it’s just so much fun playing along with those guys because they have so much energy.”
Not only is the Raiders’ wide receiver corps looking like a problem for defenses, but it’s also very young. Edwards and Ruggs are only 22 while Renfrow is 25. This group could be very good for a long time.