Oakland Raiders: 5 Unsung Heroes vs Minnesota Vikings
John Doublin – Nov 20, 2011The Oakland Raiders survived a scary second half to eek out a win over the improving Minnesota Vikings 27-21. There were moments when Oakland looked to be in complete control, and moments when it looked as if the Raiders would fall apart.
In the end however, Oakland stuck it out, over-came some mistakes and earned a win that keeps them in sole possession in first place of the AFC West.
In this new series for Raider Nation Times, we'll be highlighting players that some fans have heard of, but don't usually show up on the stat sheet or get the credit they deserve. You won't be seeing names like Michael Bush, Carson Palmer or Stanford Routt. Those guys will get their due in the mainstream media.
No, this list is only for the guys that won't be getting interviewed on NFL Network!
Brandon Myers: It was more than the big, fumble-forcing hit on the Vikings kick returner that earned Myers a spot on this list. Brandon's blocking was great all day long. There were moments when Michael Bush made extra yards based solely on a block by Myers. Add his spectacular first down catch on second-and-21 to these moments, and calling Myers a hero is anything but a stretch!
Lito Sheppard: A player that barely made the team, then got cut, then barely made the team again came up big in key situations for the Raiders. Sheppard knocked down several passes and led the team in tackles. What put him on this list however, was his sack of Christian Ponder. It came at a great time and appeared to grab momentum for the Raider defense. Well done Mr. Sheppard.
Desmond Bryant: The loss of Richard Seymour called for other players to step up and make playsâ€”Bryant did so in a big way. Three tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble showed up on the stat line, but that doesn't cover everything Bryant did for Oakland on this day. He was penetrating and causing problems for the Vikings nearly every time he was in the game. Thanks for filling the void Desmond, great job.
Kevin Boss: The Raiders' new starting tight end has been virtually missing from the stat sheet this season, but showed up big in Minneapolis on Sunday. Boss came out of the gate and caught Palmer's first two pass attempts of the game. This didn't lead to points, but it did something almost as importantâ€”it got Palmer into his rhythm. Boss finished with five catches for 37 yards and two first downs. Nice work "Boss-man!"
Honorable Mention-Darrius Heyward-Bey: Having been nearly invisible the last few weeks, Heyward-Bey came up with a solid effort. Unfortunately, his day ended on a gurney after a nasty blow to the head. Despite leaving early, "DHB" led the team in receptions and yards. More impressive was the fact that Darrius held on to the ball after that horrific hit! Toughness like that gets you on this list!
To win in the NFL a team must have depth. The performances by the men on this list proveâ€”beyond all doubtâ€”that the Oakland Raiders have the depth to compete with any team in the league!
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