NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- In some parallel universe, Al Davis used the No. 7 overall draft pick on Michael Crabtree in 2009 and Crabtree has been doing things like he did Sunday for the Oakland Raiders the past seven-plus seasons.
Things like: A game-high eight catches for 102 yards, with six of those receptions resulting in first downs, in the Oakland Raiders’ 17-10 victory over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
No, Crabtree still may not possess the breakaway speed he had coming out of Texas Tech, but as a sure-handed and strong-handed receiver, there may not be a bigger security blanket for Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.
“Our goals are high,” Crabtree said, deflecting attention away from his locker.
“We want to go to the playoffs. One game at a time. We got a win so I’m just proud of the team for responding like that [Sunday]. Whatever we need to do to win, we’re working hard to do.”
Crabtree, who had his fourth 100-yard receiving game for Oakland since 2015 after having just one the previous two seasons, has that postseason pedigree already.
With the Raiders taking Darrius Heyward-Bey at No. 7 overall seven years ago, Crabtree was instead snatched up by the San Francisco 49ers three picks later.
And with the Niners, Crabtree played in three straight NFC title games and a Super Bowl, infamously coming up short on fade passes in the end zone in Super Bowl XLVII and the NFC Championship Game the following winter.
Crabtree has been relatively clutch, though, in Oakland’s victories this season, coming up with a game-winning two-point conversion at the New Orleans Saints in the season opener two weeks ago and then his catches extending drives in Tennessee.
Even with the Raiders' offense stalling and getting shut out in the second half against the Titans.
“I thought overall we were pretty darn solid,” said Raiders coach Jack Del Rio. “We didn’t end up generating as many points as we would like to have, but we did enough to earn a tough victory on the road.”
Added Carr: “We expect execution all the time. That’s what we have to kind of realize in the NFL – it’s not going to be perfect or pretty. I thought we moved the ball well. We just didn’t get enough points in the second half, obviously.”
Twice Crabtree lost his helmet on tough catches and Carr’s first interception of the season came on a pass to Crabtree that was tipped up on contact with the receiver.
But neither player would have it any other way.
“That’s a football game,” Crabtree said. “Any given Sunday, man. We’re playing talented guys and you’ve got to bring your best and they brought their best and we came up with the win.”