Oakland Raiders: Notes And Observations From Week Seven

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Oct 25, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray (28) runs the ball during the first half in the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Ground Game Was Solid

Coming out of the bye and facing the league’s twenty-ninth ranked rushing defense, the Raiders were expected to put a little more emphasis on the run game against the Chargers. The team downplayed the notion and insisted that they’d stick to the game plan. Nobody was buying it.

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  • But the Raiders actually didn’t seem to put any extra emphasis on establishing the run. Of Oakland’s 58 offensive plays, only 26 of those were runs. So they were actually very well balanced run versus pass throughout the game.

    What they were though, was highly effective when they did unleash their running backs. Latavius Murray got 15 of Oakland’s 26 carries, turning those into 85 yards and a score. His per carry average of 5.7 yards was outstanding and Taiwan Jones even got in on the act, carrying three times for 35 yards for an 11.7 yards per carry average.

    The Raiders offensive line was very, very successful in blowing open big holes for Murray and Jones to bolt through, and the backs too full advantage of it. It seemed as if the Raiders’ running backs were ripping off big runs and gashing the San Diego left and right all game long. They pretty much had their way with San Diego’s defense, which eased the burden and made things a lot easier on Derek Carr and the passing game.

    At least it did until OC Bill Musgrave went full turtle into his shell and buttoned up the offensive attack. Once the Raiders went conservative and into cruise control mode, the Chargers were able to tee off on the running game. Just ask Roy Helu and his three yards on four carries.

    It was good to see the Raiders getting so many big plays out of the running game. It’s a facet that was missing last year and one that opposing teams will now have to seriously plan for.

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