T.J. Ward is sticking to his word. After his Denver Broncos fell to the Oakland Raiders, 30-20, on Sunday night, the veteran safety wanted to make sure the NFL world that his opinion has not changed: Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree are not elite receivers.
According to Bonta Hill of KNBR, Ward butted into Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr.’s postgame interview and made sure his opinion was heard by reporters.
“I feel like they have two good receivers,” Ward said of Cooper and Crabtree last Wednesday. “I don’t feel they have two elite receivers.”
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Cooper did not put up eye-popping statistics (6 receptions, 56 yards), but it was apparent that cornerback Bradley Roby could not cover him on Sunday night. Roby and Harris were each flagged once for pass interference while in coverage on Cooper. They were each flagged once for defensive holding while covering Cooper, too (only Roby’s was accepted).
Crabtree was less of an issue for the Broncos. He caught just two passes for 27 yards and drew only one holding call.
The Raiders didn’t need a ton of production from their top two receivers on Sunday night because they were running the ball at will. They finished the game with 218 yards on the ground as a team. Running back Latavius Murray led the way, rushing 20 times for 114 yards and three touchdowns.
“They did a lot of talking during the week,” Raiders left tackle Donald Penn said after the game, per Scott Bair of CSN Bay Area. “We don’t talk in the media. We talk with our pads. We talk with our play.”
Ward seemed a bit salty after Denver’s crushing loss to the Raiders.
“They didn’t win no championship, they don’t got no Lombardi,” Ward said, per Sam Farnsworth of KKTV. “They won a game. OK, we’ll see you next time.”
Expect there to be plenty of bulletin board material when these two teams meet again in Week 17.