Oakland Raiders: Denarius Moore Rising to the Occasion for the Raiders

Steven SlivkaCorrespondent IIINovember 7, 2012

Denarius Moore is making his presence known in the NFL this season.
Denarius Moore is making his presence known in the NFL this season.Harry How/Getty Images

With the downfall of Darren McFadden ailing the Oakland Raiders' offense, wide receiver Denarius Moore has emerged as their biggest offensive threat.

Since McFadden has struggled in Oakland's zone blocking scheme, Carson Palmer has been the one asked to anchor the Raiders' offense.

Palmer threw an absurd 61 passes in Oakland's loss against Tampa Bay and finished with over 400 yards and four touchdowns. All season long Palmer has thrown a ridiculous amount of passes, but has gotten by with a little help from his friends.

Most notably Denarius Moore.

A hamstring injury sidelined Moore for the entire summer, but you wouldn't know it by the way he's excelled on the field. After missing the Raiders' home opener against the San Diego Chargers, Moore has been Oakland's most consistent wide receiver.

The second-year receiver out of Tennessee has 30 catches for 485 yards and four touchdowns in seven games this season. He's also been targeted at least eight times in every game.

Moore's 16.2 yards per reception average is higher than some of the NFL's best receivers, including Calvin Johnson, Roddy White, A.J. Green and Reggie Wayne.

In five of the seven games he's played in he's had at least one catch for 26 yards and has been everything the Raiders have asked him to be.

Darrius Heyward-Bey was expected to be the team's big-play receiver before the season started, but he has yet to live up to the hype.

In seven games, Heyward-Bey has less receptions, yards, touchdowns and targets than Moore.

With Palmer giving him a great deal of looks week after week, Moore has become the most trusted receiver on Oakland's roster. If it wasn't for tight end Brandon Myers having a career year of his own, Moore would get nearly 15 targets a game.

His ability to take short screens and burst through the middle of the field for huge gains makes him very valuable. But make no mistake, he can also burn defenders for deep strikes in the end zone.

With all the talk in Oakland revolving around McFadden, Moore is quietly making a name for himself in the NFL. As abysmal as the Raiders' running game has been this season, it wouldn't be surprising to see Palmer air it out 60 times a game for the rest of the season.

Luckily he'll have Moore there waiting.