Oakland Raiders: Keys To Victory Over Chicago Bears

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Sep 27, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray (28) runs the ball as Cleveland Browns cornerback Pierre Desir (26) defends during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Keep Pounding the Ball

One of the smartest, most effective things HC Jack Del Rio and his staff are doing – and something completely missing from past regimes – was tailoring a game plan to a specific opponent. Throwing out the first game against Cincinnati – simply because that was such a horrid mess that any and all game planning went out the window – the Raiders tailored their game plans in subsequent weeks to their opponents.

The Ravens had a stout run defense, so the Raiders opted to be more pass heavy. The Browns had a porous run defense, so they fed Cleveland a heavy dose of Latavius Murray to the tune of 26 carries for 139 yards – those 26 carries equaled Murray’s total carries in the first two games combined. Murray’s efficiency had the added bonus of softening up the defense and opening up the passing game, which Derek Carr and the receiving corps too full advantage of.

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  • As the Raiders square off against the Bears, they are facing another defense that tends to give up yardage on the ground in large chunks. In fact, the Bears have the league’s fourth worst run defense, giving up a tick under 136 yards on the ground. By contrast, the Bears have the league’s sixth best pass defense, giving up just over 195 yards a game.

    Expect Del Rio and OC Bill Musgrave‘s game plan to include a steady diet of Murray with a pinch of Taiwan Jones throw in for flavor. At least, it should. If the Raiders can get the ground game going again, it will only benefit the passing game and the offense as a whole.

    The run defense is a weakness in Chicago’s armor that the Raiders absolutely must exploit. If they can do it successfully, the Raiders will control the tempo of the game which would go a long way toward controlling the game as a whole.

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