After two seasons with the Oakland Raiders in which he was arguably the most dynamic playmaker for the team, Denarius Moore should have become the outright No. 1 receiver this season.
Moore was among team leaders in receptions, yards and average yards per reception during his first two seasons, but the start to his 2013 campaign has been anything but noteworthy.
He has only caught five balls for 43 yards and one touchdown during the first two games of this season, according to ESPN.
In a young and talented, yet unproven and unstable Oakland offense, Moore has to become the deep threat the Raiders have seen in the past – and he knows it.
“The coaches and the quarterbacks are always going to have faith in me,” Moore said to csnbayarea.com. “I need to get back in that huddle with a positive attitude.”
Despite lackluster performances since the preseason that included some dropped passes, head coach Dennis Allen insists that talent is not Moore’s problem but rather inconsistency and lack of self-confidence.
“I think everybody [gets down on themselves] if they don’t have success,” Allen said to csnbayarea.com. “The big thing is, he can’t get too down on himself. He’s got to continue to work and fight himself out of it.”
Undoubtedly, the Raiders will face tough times against the Denver Broncos.
The Broncos defense has allowed an average of 40.5 rushing yards during its first two games, which is ranked first in the NFL according to ESPN.
However, Denver is ranked 29th in passing yards allowed with an average of 344.0 yards.
Keep in mind though that Denver faced two Super Bowl winning quarterbacks during its first two games: Joe Flacco and Eli Manning.
Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor is talented and has shown promise, but it would be a very long stretch to say he is on the same level of the previously mentioned quarterbacks until he proves otherwise.
Although Denver has played against two exceptional NFL quarterbacks, the fact that its defense has given up so much passing yards is a telling sign and may be the small crack in the code the Raiders need to pull off the upset.
Rod Streater has been Oakland’s leading receiver with eight catches for 112 yards this season, according to ESPN.
Streater has been a consistent target for Pryor, but he alone cannot beat Denver’s secondary.
If ever there was a time for Moore to get things rolling and prove doubters wrong, Monday night against the Broncos may just be the time.
Moore has the ability to be a good receiver in Greg Olson’s offense, but sooner or later he will have to get over the hump.
The Raiders are hoping sooner rather than later.