Oakland Raiders: Notes and Observations From Week Four

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Oct 4, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears defensive end Sam Acho (49) breaks up a pass intended for Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray (28) during the second half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Murray’s Nightmare Afternoon

If Latavius Murray is going to prove that he can and should be Oakland’s featured back, he’s going to have to avoid games like he logged against Chicago.

It was a nightmare of a day for Murray and he wasn’t able to do much of anything right or well. On the ground he rushed for just 49 yards on 16 carries for an anemic 3.1 yards per carry average.

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  • But it was Murray’s miscues that went a long way toward costing Oakland the game.

    Late in the second quarter, Murray took his eyes off the ball and let it bounce off of him and up into the air. Pernell McPhee was there waiting with open arms. He grabbed the ball for an interception deep in Raiders’ territory.

    Murray’s mental lapse set Chicago up at the Oakland 29 yard line. The defense was able to rally and hold the Bears out of the endzone, but Chicago was still able to get a field goal out of it – points which were the winning margin.

    But Murray’s day didn’t end there. In the fourth quarter, with Oakland driving, he somehow fumbled away a toss from Carr that Chicago recovered. The defense eventually forced a punt, but Murray’s mental meltdown killed what was looking like a promising drive and didn’t allow the Raiders to put points on the board.

    Del Rio insists he was not sending a message to the young running back, but it was Roy Helu who was taking meaningful snaps in the fourth quarter rather than Murray who remained on the bench. He will likely remain Oakland’s featured back, but Murray is on notice that he – nor the team – can afford the sort of mental lapses and sloppy play he suffered against the Bears.

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