In Week 5, first-round wide receiver Henry Ruggs had his coming-out party for the Las Vegas Raiders. He had two catches for 118 yards and a touchdown. After his brief stint off the field due to injury, it looked like he was finally ready to make his mark on the league.
In Week 7, Ruggs had two catches again, but for only 35 yards. He was only targeted three times in the game which led head coach Jon Gruden to be asked why Ruggs wasn’t getting the ball thrown his way more often. Gruden slightly called the rookie out with his answer.
“Give Tampa Bay credit. They covered Ruggs,” Gruden said. “A few times they covered him like a blanket. So Ruggs has to beat one-on-one coverage. Certainly, we have to diagram more plays to get him the ball but when it is one-on-one we need him to win. He knows that.”
Ruggs might be the fastest player in the NFL so there aren’t going to be many cornerbacks who can keep up with him.
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Raiders & Ruggs Need to Be Better
There’s no doubt that Ruggs needs to be better but the rest of the team hasn’t been doing him any favors. He was open for a deep shot in the game that quarterback Derek Carr slightly overthrew. The Raiders also aren’t using him in many creative ways. Ruggs is a weapon and they need to start treating him like it.
Having him miss two games with an injury certainly hurt his progress but he’s shown flashes of really good ability. As he gets more experience, Ruggs will be better about getting open. Wide receivers typically take a little bit of time to transition to the NFL. The lack of an offseason will only make that fact more apparent. So far, there’s no indication that Ruggs isn’t exactly what the Raiders were looking for. The Buccaneers have arguably the best defense in the NFL and Las Vegas had issues on the offensive line. Ruggs will have a much better chance to make an impact in Week 8 against a lackluster Cleveland Browns defense that is currently ranked 30th in the NFL in passing yards per game allowed.
Nelson Agholor Continues Strong Start
After a bad last year in Philadelphia, everybody was ready to write Nelson Agholor down as a draft bust. The Raiders took a chance on the former first-round pick and he’s making them look really smart right now. Unfortunately, he no longer has a perfect passer rating when targeted but he had his biggest game of the season in Week 7.
He finished the game with five catches for 107 yards and a touchdown. Those were the most yards he accumulated in a game since Week 2 of the 2019 season. It’s clear that Carr trusts Agholor a lot and is becoming one of the quarterback’s favorite targets. Agholor’s emergence could be very good news for a team that has struggled at wide receiver for years. If he keeps playing well and Ruggs becomes more consistent, the Raiders will have a very scary passing game.