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Alabama in the Pros

Wide receiver Amari Cooper propelled Oakland over New Orleans

Oakland Raiders WR Amari Cooper (No. 89) makes catch and tackled by Saints' linebacker James Laurinaitis: Derick E. Hingle - USA TODAY Sports

Oakland’s “AC/DC” connection opened the season with a bang against New Orleans.

Amari Cooper recorded his first 100-yard performance of 2016, grabbing six passes from Derek Carr for 137 receiving yards. He created separation within the Saints’ defensive backfield, hauling in three receptions in excess of 30 yards. Two of Cooper’s six catches came on a 91-yard touchdown drive (seven plays) in the first quarter, giving the Raiders a 10-3 advantage.

He was targeted three times on third down (one catch), while securing a crucial two-point conversion in the fourth quarter. Carr’s completion to Cooper tied the game at 27 with 8:26 left in regulation. The former Alabama standout, 2014 Fred Biletnikoff Award winner and Heisman finalist ended last season with five 100-yard games and 1,070 receiving yards on 72 catches.

His chemistry with Carr helped Oakland squeak out a 35-34 victory over New Orleans.

Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama MagazineYou can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

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