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Red Raiders in the NFL 9.18.14

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Crabtree is healthy, but can he be clutch for the 49ers? Denver Broncos look like the top team and should have all three Red Raiders in action this week, while Amaro and Amendola both seek greater roles.

Ezra Shaw

Can Crabtree Be Clutch? Michael Crabtree celebrated his 27th birthday on Sunday by catching 7 passes for a game high 82 yards. The game was also memorable as it was the first regular-season game in the San Francisco 49ers Levi's Stadium. Unfortunately for Crabtree though, perhaps the play he will remember most from the evening is "the one that got away." He made 7 catches on 9 throws from Kaepernick, but he attempted a diving catch on the final offensive play of the game and could not hold onto the ball.

It was reminiscent of the rough ending of the Super Bowl two seasons ago. Or the end of last season's NFC Championship Game against the Seattle Seahawks. Or as Red Raider fans, we saw it in the final seconds of the OSU game in 2007. As a primary target, these things are bound to happen. The upside is that now that Crabtree is healthy, it's likely that we'll see Kaepernick continue to look for him in clutch situations, and we can hope that he'll have better results next time.

You can watch Crabtree mic'ed up for the game here. The best part is him being announced as representing Texas Tech. Check it out.

Denver Looks Strong The Denver Broncos are ranked 1st in this week's power rankings by most sources. Our Red Raiders in the trenches Louis Vasquez and Manny Ramirez continue to do an excellent job protecting Peyton Manning, allowing only one sack from the Kansas City Chiefs this week. In addition, Wes Welker is eligible to return to the team following a change in the NFL drug policy, so hopefully he can contribute immediately to the league's early favorite.

More for Amaro Jace Amaro has just 13 yards on 5 targets in the regular season, which leaves some advocating for him to have a greater role:

Playing Amaro split wide more frequently, where he is very comfortable, would make a lot of sense. The Jets drafted him specifically for his receiving skills and because they felt he could upgrade their passing attack, but they haven't given him enough opportunities. The Jets are tied for 26th in the NFL with just 61 passing attempts this season, so there isn't a ton of opportunity for anyone. However, the Jets need to make a more concerted effort to get Amaro the ball.

Amendola Is MIA Danny Amendola has been largely non-existent for the New England Patriots this year. He did have a 26-yard catch this weekend, but it was called back due to a penalty, and was only targeted one other time. He's not getting many opportunities this year, which has led Boston sports blogger Eric Wilbur to ask, Where the Hell is Danny Amendola? Hopefully Brady can get the ball in his hands more often as the season progresses.

"I think Danny has shown that he can be an obvious contributor in our offense," said Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels about Amendola, who has never been healthy enough to play a full 16-game slate. "He did it last year and played through some different things and came up huge for us in a number of situations and a number of games.

"I have a lot of confidence in Danny, I have a lot of confidence in all our receivers and tight ends and backs in the passing game, and I would anticipate that we'll go forward and the ball will get distributed to a lot of those guys that can do a lot of good things with it."

Waddle's Status LaAdrian Waddle of the Detroit Lions was out this week due to a calf injury, but he could be back for this weekend's game.