Nelson had nine catches (12 targets) for 78 yards in Sunday's 35-3 loss to the Chiefs. It has been a year of ups and downs for Nelson, but he has really come into his own to finish out the season. The veteran is averaging 7.6 catches and 77.2 yards over his last five games, taking over as the Raiders' top wideout following the trade deadline departure of Amari Cooper. Nelson already expressed interest in staying in Oakland for the final year of his two-year deal, but with a slew of draft picks on hand, it's tough to predict what type of role the 33-year-old will have on a rebuilding team with what should be a new crop of young wideouts.
Nelson hopes to remain with the Raiders in 2019, Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Signed to a two-year, $14.2 million contract last March, Nelson has come on strong late in the season, catching 29 of 34 targets for 308 yards over the past four games. His days as a true No. 1 receiver are long gone, but his season mark of 8.7 yards per target represents a massive rebound from an ugly 2017 campaign in Green Bay (5.5 YPT). Nelson and Raiders coach Jon Gruden both seem to be on board for another season working together, though it won't come as a huge surprise if the team asks the 33-year-old to accept a pay cut. Before any of that can happen, Nelson will try to cement his value during a Week 17 contest in Kansas City. He'll face a defense that allowed him to catch 10 of 11 targets for 97 yards in a 40-33 loss back on Dec. 2.
Nelson racked up seven receptions for 75 yards during Monday's 27-14 win against Denver. Nelson has been integral to the Raiders passing game in commanding 36 targets over the past four outings, a stark contrast from his four targets per game average established between Weeks 1 and 12. Additionally, the veteran wideout has amassed 48-plus receiving yards in four straight games after exceeding that mark just once through his first 10 appearances for the Silver and Black. Week 17 presents a promising matchup for the 33-year-old Nelson, as the Raiders travel to Arrowhead to take on a Chiefs defense that ranks bottom five in catches (211) and receiving yards (2,643) allowed to wide receivers this season.
Nelson caught six of eight targets for 88 yards during Sunday's 30-14 loss to the Bengals. Nelson led the team in targets, catches and receiving yards. A large chunk of his production came on a 44-yard gain that set up a field goal, but he failed to do make many other contributions. Despite the team's offensive woes as a whole, Nelson has been quite productive of late, with 22 catches for 233 yards combined over the last three games.
Nelson caught six of his seven targets for 48 yards in Sunday's 24-21 win over the Steelers. Nelson's return to full strength after dealing with a knee injury in November has been a major key for quarterback Derek Carr's resurgence, as the latter racked up 607 passing yards and five touchdowns to no interceptions over the past two games. Nelson's stat line during the same stretch includes 16 catches on 18 targets for 145 yards, though he's earned just one total look in the red zone dating back to Week 6. He'll look to maintain recent momentum against the Bengals on Sunday in what will be a battle between two teams without playoff hopes.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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