The Raiders’ literal most valuable player is Derek Carr, just as the QB is the MVP on 20–25 teams every year. But if we look at players who have shown up in big ways in big spots, Michael Crabtree has had an enormous impact on the season.
His game-winning two-point conversion with 23 seconds left against the Saints in Week 1, on a tough play in coverage, practically swung an entire game. He also had an outsized impact in a one-point win over the Ravens, with three touchdowns (including two in the fourth quarter, including the toe-tapping 23-yard game-winner with 2:12 left). His 47 catches and 569 yards are behind teammate Amari Cooper’s 52 for 787. But his great season has helped open things up for the whole offense, his six receiving TDs are tied for the league lead and he’s a key reason the Raiders are 6–2 with one of the highest-scoring offenses in the game.
I know Crabtree is not actually going to get any MVP consideration, but he is having a year worthy of being recognized, so I wanted to show him some love. — Mitch Goldich