Former Clemson star Hunter Renfrow is getting ready to play in a big primetime game on Sunday night when the Las Vegas Raiders (9-7) battle the Los Angeles Chargers (9-7) in Las Vegas.
On ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown, the analysts discussed the Raiders-Chargers matchup (8:20 p.m., NBC) that carries playoff implications and marks the final game of the NFL regular season.
ESPN NFL analyst and three-time Super Bowl champion Tedy Bruschi was asked if the Raiders’ game plan should be to stick to the run game and then try to hit tight end Darren Waller.
“He’s going to help out a lot,” the longtime New England Patriots linebacker and Patriots Hall of Famer said. “But there’s one guy that you can’t forget about — and a lot of people do — and that’s Hunter Renfrow.”
Bruschi then broke down tape of Renfrow and talked about the receiver’s uncanny ability to get open, especially on third downs when the chains need to be moved.
“I mean, the saying, it’s ‘Third-and-Renfrow.’ This guy gets it going,” Bruschi said. “I’ve got a couple plays here to show you of him on third down and why he’s so difficult. You see him in the bunch formation. (Raiders quarterback Derek) Carr isn’t even looking his way, but he feels and he always knows where to be. He senses the trouble, boom, takes off. Carr now sees him, jump pass to him, and he finds a way to get open for his quarterback, especially on third down.”
Renfrow has had a career year in his third NFL season. In 16 games heading into Sunday night’s clash with the Chargers, the 2019 fifth-round draft pick has racked up 99 catches on 123 targets for 1,025 receiving yards and seven touchdown receptions, all career highs.
Still, Bruschi believes Renfrow is underrated considering what he brings to the table as a playmaking slot receiver with his route running and craftiness to pick up yards after the catch.
“I don’t know how you play man coverage on him,” Bruschi said. “Stop, go, stop, boom — wide open, third-and-short. Oh yeah, by the way, you need me to come off my coverage, try to make a tackle. No, you can’t do that either. This guy is slippery, this guy is underrated… Waller is going to help, yes. ‘Third-and-Renfrow,’ you’ve got to stop him.”
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