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Oakland Raiders: Rod Streater and Juron Criner Continue to Impress in Preseason

Juron Criner caught two touchdowns in Oakland's 31-20 win on Saturday.
Juron Criner caught two touchdowns in Oakland's 31-20 win on Saturday.Cary Emondson-US PRESSWIRE
Steven SlivkaCorrespondent IIIAugust 26, 2012

After being shut out in their first preseason game by the Dallas Cowboys, the Oakland Raiders have put up 58 points in their last two contests.

A big reason for these offensive explosions have been because of their two rookie receivers.

Rod Streater continued his impressive preseason with five more catches against the Detroit Lions, giving him a total of 18 receptions in three games.

Fellow rookie receiver Juron Criner only had two catches but both were monster touchdowns. The rookie used his big frame to catch a 39-yard bomb as well as a 76-yard strike, both from backup QB Terrelle Pryor.

Oakland has been plagued with injuries to their starting wide receivers early on, but the impressive play from Streater and Criner has given the Raiders something to be excited about.

Darrius Heyward-Bey had an incredible 43-yard catch in the second quarter to assure Raider fans of his health. But with Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford still nursing injuries, Streater and Criner will both have to make an impact earlier than expected.

Streater's consistency and Criner's big-play ability give Oakland a pair of new weapons at the perfect time.

While Streater adds speed to a Raiders' receiving corps that is full of speedsters, Criner offers a red-zone threat that has eluded Oakland for quite some time. Criner drew two defensive flags on both of his touchdown catches, showing how dangerous his big frame is to opposing defensive backs.

According to the Conta Costra Times (via rotoworld.com), Moore and Ford both "could be ready" by Week 1.

Their uncertainty leads one to think that Streater and Criner will be on the field when the Raiders host the Chargers in their Sept. 10 opener.

Losing young receivers who have exceptional talent is never a good thing. It's even worse when your team doesn't have sufficient backups to replace them in their absence. Luckily for the Raiders, they have two youngsters who have shown promise this preseason.

Both look capable of filling in once the season begins, which is good for Oakland since they will most likely have to.

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