Darren Waller has gone from one of the best stories in the NFL, to an absolute star tight end for the Raiders. Waller racked up 1,145 receiving yards last season and he could be well onto his way to another 1,000-plus yard season this year with a huge performance Sunday against the New York Jets.
Waller joined rare company with an extremely hot start against the winless Jets. The 28-year-old finished the first quarter with six catches, 79 yards and one touchdown. He became the first tight end with at least five receptions, 75 yards and one touchdown in a single quarter since 49ers star George Kittle in Week 17 of the 2018 season.
Waller only got better as the first half went on, too. He went into halftime with eight receptions for 123 yards and two touchdowns. That stat line put him in company with Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe. Waller finished with 13 catches for 200 yards.
Kittle finished Week 17 of the 2018 season with nine catches for 149 yards and one touchdown. Waller seems primed to pass those numbers and already scored two touchdowns in just the first half.
Waller entered the day with 542 yards and five touchdowns. Those numbers are going to see a significant spike after Sunday as he continues to be a force in Jon Gruden's offense.