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Next Gen Stats: Amari Cooper picks on Jimmy Wilson

It's rare for an NFL team to take advantage of a fill-in starter to the extent the Oakland Raiders did to San Diego Chargers two-time All Pro safety Eric Weddle's replacement in Week 7.

Poor Jimmy Wilson was a primary culprit on all three of Derek Carr's touchdown passes and a fourth bomb to Amari Cooper.

Rookie tight end Clive Walford beat Wilson down the sideline for a 23-yard score. Michael Crabtree forced a Wilson whiff in front of the end zone on his 25-yard bubble-screen touchdown.

The most dastardly deed, though, was Amari Cooper's vicious open-field cut that put Wilson on skates en route to a 52-yard touchdown.

To be fair, Wilson wasn't the only victim on that play. Per Next Gen Stats, three Chargers came within one yard of Cooper on his way to the end zone.

Cooper would have had another touchdown had Carr put more air under a 44-yard pass. At the time of the throw, Cooper was just below his top speed of 20.72 mph and had 2.81 yards of separation on cornerback Jason Verrett. Cooper won the jumpball over Wilson, who had had been moving at just 12.25 mph prior to the catch.

The Carr-to-Cooper "AC/DC" connection will face a much stiffer test on Revis Island this week.

Here's what else we learned from Next Gen Stats in Week 7:

  1. Specializing in bubble screens, end-arounds and crossing routes, Jarvis Landry has traveled 1,312 yards this season -- the fourth-most of any wide receiver. His 50-yard touchdown versus the Texans in Week 7 was one of the most jaw-dropping scores this year. Landry covered 30 yards on his square route to catch a 13-yard sideline pass from Ryan Tannehill. Once he got the ball in his hands, Landry bobbed and weaved through Houston's secondary, making five defenders miss while traveling 109.01 yards en route to a game-breaking touchdown.

Outside of Larry Fitzgerald's renaissance, there hasn't been a better slot receiver in the league this year.

  1. At 6-foot-3 and 218 pounds, Telvin Smith is a 21st century linebacker, capable of hanging with athletic tight ends and scat backs in coverage. Although he couldn't have played in the smashmouth eras of the 1970s and '80s, he showed the benefits of that streamlined form with a 26-yard pick six versus the Bills. Smith reached 20.82 mph, the third-fastest speed on a touchdown in Week 7. For frame of reference, see above for Cooper's top speed of 20.72 mph.

For what it's worth, Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly also maxed out at 20.72 mph while playing catch-up on Ryan Mathews' 63-yard touchdown run.

  1. The difference in efficiency between Saints running backs Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson was noteworthy. Ingram had one of the most efficient performances of the season, gaining 143 yards on 14 carries. He ran just 2.38 yards per rushing yard gained, while Robinson need to 9.17 yards per rushing yard gained on his own 14 carries.
  1. NFL Media analyst Brian Baldinger quipped on Monday, "My mother could scout Todd Gurley." Boasting a unique power-speed combination, Gurley posted his third consecutive top-five speed (21.21 mph) among running backs as a ball carrier on a 48-yard run in the third quarter. It was his fastest recorded speed with the ball in his hands this season.
  1. Is your team in need of a veteran wide receiver with the Nov. 3 trade deadline looming? Take a look at the Washington Redskins. Rookie Jamison Crowder played 82 percent of the offensive plays versus the Buccaneers. He's becoming a mainstay in the passing game, pushing Ryan Grant and Andre Roberts down the depth chart. With DeSean Jackson (hamstring) expected back after the Week 8 bye, Roberts will be the odd man out -- and ostensibly available for a late-round draft pick.
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