During the 2015 offseason, there were plenty of quality free-agent wide receivers on the open market. And numerous NFL teams invested their share of money into upgrading their teams. But veteran wideout Michael Crabtree appeared to be an unwanted commodity for months. It was then that Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie opted to take a chance. And the move proved to be one of his best during his brief tenure with the Silver and Black.

Great addition to team

It mid-April of ’15, the 10th overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft by the San Francisco 49ers joined the Oakland Raiders via a one-year, $3.2 million contract.

He responded with a team-high 85 catches for 922 yards and a club-best nine touchdown receptions. Eight months later, the experience wideout inked a four-year, $34 million extension with the franchise. This season, he once again led the Raiders in receptions (89) and TD grabs (8) while amassing 1,003 yards through the air. And doesn’t even his clutch two-point conversion catch in the team’s 35-34 win over the New Orleans Saints in Week 1.

Those playoff days with the 49ers

But this weekend against the Houston Texans, it is Crabtree’s postseason exploits that will prove as the Oakland Raiders prepare for the first postseason game since 2002. From 2011-13, the 49ers were in the playoffs three consecutive years (reaching the NFC title game in 2011 and ’13 and Super Bowl XLVII in ’12).

In those eight postseason tilts, Crabtree totaled 40 receptions for 516 yards and four touchdowns. During the team’s Super Bowl run four years ago, the eight-year pro racked up 20 catches for 285 yards and three scores in three games.

You will recall that the Raiders rallied from a 20-13 fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Houston Texans, 27-20, on a Monday night at Mexico City seven weeks ago.

But the team no longer has the services of star quarterback Derek Carr. Rookie Connor Cook will be making his first NFL start on Sunday. And while facing the number-one defense in the NFL will not be an easy task, having Michael Crabtree at his disposal will make life better for the young signal-caller in this contest.

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