Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

December 22, 2008
Higgins = big plays

OAKLAND - Maybe the Raiders don't need Michael Crabtree.

Or maybe the reason the Raiders' group of wide receivers has been deemed one of the worst in the NFL this season has been because the wrong wide receivers were playing.

But one thing is certain: Johnnie Lee Higgins is a playmaker.

Higgins leads the Raiders with six touchdowns (three receiving, three on punt returns).

Higgins' average touchdown covers 72 yards. Sunday's 29-yard touchdown catch was Higgins' shortest touchdown of the season.

Here's the breakdown

93-yard punt return
90-yard punt return
84-yard catch
80-yard punt return
56-yard catch
29-yard catch

You wouldn't have known that last season because Higgins sat on the bench while the team gave reps that should have gone to Higgins to the likes of aging veteran Tim Dwight.

Even with the playoffs out of reach for weeks, the Raiders didn't give Higgins much of a chance on offense last season.

But thrust into a bigger role because of injuries, Higgins is showing he likes the spotlight.

"I feel like I'm explosive," Higgins said. "Like, you never know what can happen. You know, it looks like he's tackled, it looks like he's down. Oh, he's gone. It looks like he can't catch it, like he can't do this . . . there he goes. So I look at myself, I always look at myself as a playmaker."

Now that the team does, too, it might alter the Raiders offseason plans.

Maybe they don't a wide receiver that badly.

--Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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