In keeping with the theme of surprise players breaking out so far this season, Brandon Myers has earned the distinction of Week 2 star. In Week 1, rookie linebacker Miles Burris received the award. The passing of the torch from one unknown to the next seems eerily fitting, as both the tight end and outside linebacker positions were identified as big question marks heading into the season.
Myers broke out this past week against the Dolphins to finish as Oakland's top receiver with six catches for 86 yards, both of which were career highs for the fourth year man from Iowa.
With the departure of Kevin Boss in the offseason, numerous members of the Black Hole began to wonder what Oakland would do with the tight end spot. As rumors swirled and fans awaited new general manager Reggie McKenzie's next move, the end result was a big letdown.
Instead of going after a new weapon or signing a free agent, Oakland simply decided to stay put. Even when Chris Cooley was cut by the Redskins, McKenzie and Co. stayed put.
So as week one began, Raider fans scoured the Internet trying to find out exactly who the three tight ends on the roster really were.
Atop the depth chart was Myers, who had logged just 32 catches in three seasons with Oakland. Behind him was second-year man David Ausberry, who recorded just 12 receiving yards as a rookie, and Richard Gordon, a tight end known more for his blocking than pass-catching. Despite all that, the Raiders staff seemed to be assuring people that their tight end situation wouldn't be a concern.
Guess they were right.
Through two games this season, Myers has already matched his entire output from last season with 151 yards. In Week 1, Myers caught five balls for 65 yards.
Perhaps even more impressive than his numbers, however, is the critical timing with which he makes many of his catches. It seems anytime Oakland faces a long third down and Palmer needs a reliable target that Myers is the first guy he looks at.
In fact, consider this: all 11 times that Palmer has thrown the ball to Myers, he has caught it. To take it one step further: no player in the entire league has been targeted more than 11 times and caught every single one.
With the loss of Jacoby Ford and the presence of a number of young rookies high on the depth chart, Myers has emerged as a big weapon for Oakland, and one who could see his role in the offense continue to grow.
While week two was full of mostly dark spots, Oakland fans can find one bit of hope in the emergence of Myers, the Raiders' Week 2 star.