Typically, it’s not wise to overreact to what we see on the field in Week 1. That is probably even truer this season with a shortened offseason and no preseason. However, there are things we can take away from Week 1 that gives us clues to how a team is going to function throughout the rest of the season.
A perfect example of this is how the Raiders plan on using rookie receiver Henry Ruggs III. Before suffering an ankle injury, Ruggs touched the ball on offenses five times and gained 67 yards. But it’s what he did to help Derek Carr that was even more impressive.
In a recent article by Pro Football Focus, they wrote about the performance of every first-round pick from the 2020 NFL Draft. When it came to Ruggs, they had an interesting nugget about how he impacted Carr’s play in Week 1:
“If the Raiders drafted Henry Ruggs III to coax downfield aggression out of Derek Carr, it looked like it worked. Ruggs had three catches for 55 yards, including a 45-yard deep shot over the middle. And Carr had four deep passes in the game, with one more just under 20 air yards.”
While it’s only one week, it is interesting to see that Ruggs has made Carr a more aggressive passer. He is taking more shots down the field and that is exactly what this offense needs to take the next step.
If Carr and Ruggs can continue to connect on a few of these deep passes each week, the sky is the limit for this offense. And this is exactly why Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden drafted Ruggs at No. 12. So far, so good for the Raiders’ offense.