Oakland Raiders: Things To Watch For vs. Cincinnati Bengals

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Aug 14, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) hands the ball off to running back Latavius Murray (28) against the St. Louis Rams in a preseason NFL football game at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Latavius Murray vs. Cincinnati’s Run Defense

Murray wasn’t spectacular during the preseason. Of course, the Raiders’ running game was very up and down all preseason long. But Murray also had very limited reps in which to work. He did however, manage a very solid five yards a carry on his preseason touches. By all measures, Murray looks ready to be the running back the Raiders have needed for quite some time.

Murray runs with power, speed, and has terrific vision of the field. The Kansas City Chiefs can attest to just how potent he is coming out of the backfield.

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  • But there are still questions in the minds of some as to whether Murray is actually ready and physically capable of carrying the ball 20-25 times a game and still be as effective. Some will tell you that the good running backs get better as the game goes on, they establish a rhythm, and they get more carries. Because Murray has yet to receive that number of carries in any game, we can’t say we have the answer to that question yet.

    But he can lay a lot of those questions to rest and ease the minds of many with a solid performance against the Bengals. They have some solid players on the defensive side of the ball, but Cincinnati also proved to be vulnerable to the run as well, giving up only a few yards less (116) per game than the Raiders did last season.

    If Murray can get off to a fast start and chew up the yards against Cincinnati, it will benefit the offense as a whole. Not to mention the fact that it will establish him as Oakland’s featured back and ease the concerns some still have.

    Next: Oakland's Young Guns