ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree continues to be a revelation, apparently intent on showing the rest of the league it made a mistake by not pursuing him in free agency.
Crabtree caught nine passes for 111 yards and was targeted a career-high 16 times in the Raiders' 37-33 victory over the Baltimore Ravens last Sunday.
Crabtree was the San Francisco 49ers first round pick, No. 10 overall, in 2009 out of Texas Tech. He was de-emphasized last season with the 49ers, playing 68.2 percent of the snaps. Against Baltimore on Sunday he played 89 percent of the snaps.
Slowed by injuries and contract issues with the 49ers, Crabtree missed training camp practices and was sidelined with Achilles injuries. Crabtree has not missed a workout with the Raiders and it shows in terms of performance on the field.
"I thought Michael Crabtree had a phenomenal game," head coach Jack Del Rio said. "He made some unbelievable catches in clutch situations, but his unselfishness, the way he blocked on the perimeter, was really terrific on his part."
On a 29-yard touchdown hookup with quarterback David Carr, Crabtree sold his route to such an extent that one defender fell down. Carr ordinarily wouldn't make a backside throw off a bootleg to the opposite side, but took a peek back and found Crabtree for a touchdown.
"Here's a guy, he's not even in the progression, but he runs his route hard, puts the team first and gets rewarded for it," Carr said.
Crabtree has become a fast favorite among Raiders fans, and is appreciative of it.
"They want it as badly as we want it," Crabtree said. "We're in this thing together. The fans' support is motivation for us. I always say just be thankful, go out and play ball, give the fans something to see."
--Wide receiver Andre Holmes has seen his playing time dwindle with the arrival of Crabtree and rookie Amari Cooper, but made the most of his 14 snaps against Baltimore.
Included was a 14-yard catch at the 1-yard line after which Holmes was hit hard by Baltimore safety Kendrick Lewis but held onto the ball to set up a Latavius Murray touchdown.
"I guess it was just the will to catch it," Holmes said. "I was a little bit surprised, but I knew the ball was coming, so I just made a play on it."
Holmes led the Raiders with 693 yards receiving in 2014.
"There are so many more playmakers now," Holmes said. "The secondary has to focus on other people. It opens it up more for everyone else, but the change is I have to make the most of the opportunities I get. I have to maximize them when they come."
--Raiders owner Mark Davis refuted reports that the Raiders would be the only team in the NFL to decline to put gold marks on their field to commemorate the 50th Super Bowl to be played this year at nearby Levi's Stadium.
"We're waiting until the baseball season's over," Davis said. "We don't paint our shield on the field, we don't paint the end zones, we don't paint gold things, but we'll be painting them for the Denver game (Oct. 11)."
League spokesman Brian McCarthy said originally the Raiders would delay the gold marks for two weeks, while the A's were still playing baseball in the stadium. However, the facility's general manager Scott Wright told the Sporting News "it has nothing to do with baseball ... there will be no gold marks this season."
The Raiders' lease with the O.co Coliseum expires at the end of the season. The club is pursuing both a stadium in Carson with the San Diego Chargers as well as getting a new stadium built on the current site.