OAKLAND -- Darrius Heyward-Bey had been enjoying a breakthrough season as a third-year NFL receiver.And yet, he was more than conspicuous by his absence in large stretches of the game Sunday. Same with tight end Kevin Boss, who was active two weeks after suffering a concussion against Kansas City on Oct. 23 but only saw time on special teams.The reasoning?
"Well, we played a lot of wide receiver, two-back sets today because we thought that gave us the best chance to move the ball up the field, which it did," said coach Hue Jackson. "It did, it gave us a chance to do those things. We just, right now, we're a very inconsistent team, you know we're consistent in one half and very inconsistent in the second half."Again, we've got to go back and it's my job to fix it, and we'll get it fixed."Wait, what? What about DHB, who came in with a team-high 27 catch for 434 yards and a TD but was targeted only once in the Raiders' 38-24 beatdown by Denver and did not catch a pass.Was there a decision to play Heyward-Bey less?"No, that was just certain sets," Jackson said. "We have some very talented players and he's one of them and we had certain sets where we have a bunch of guys targeting for those particular sets because comfortability, it had nothing to do with, Darrius is a good player, and he's doing well. So that had nothing to do with that."
Heyward-Bey was targeted 11 times in the Raiders last game.