One of the biggest surprises from yesterday’s game was the lack of Taywan Taylor after being featured in the pre-season. Even more surprising however was that Eric Decker led the team in wide receiver snaps after having missed so much of the preseason.
Corey Davis is working to get caught up after missing a lot of the preseason with a hamstring injury. But in his limited action he looked great. He made an amazing sideline catch for his first NFL play, and other than a directional miscue later in the game, he played great. He looked strong and physical and in no way did the game look to big for him.
Rishard Matthews should not come off the field. Time and time again he made plays for his quarterback and converted 3rd downs with brave efforts over the middle and on the sidelines. He played fewer snaps but ended up with 5 catches for 71 yards vs. Decker’s 3 for 10. It’s obvious Mariota has a confidence in him and they are on the same page as a carry over from last year.
The one chance Decker had to make a play was a critical 3rd down out route where he stumbled just as he approached the sideline on what would have been a big conversion that resulted in a punt. Outside of that he was swallowed up on a bubble screen and one other catch for 8 yards.
I don’t want to be too hard on him, but 1st blush look is that he’s a veteran role player. He wasn’t targeted often, but is that because he can’t get open? The one time Mariota forced the ball to him late was almost an interception as well.
It’s only been one game, but I will be very interested to see going forward if he continues to get the lion’s share of the snaps. If so, there should be some production to justify it.