Oakland Raiders: Notes And Observations From Week Seven

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Oct 25, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Branden Oliver (43) runs the ball while defended by Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong (57) during the second half at Qualcomm Stadium. Oakland won 37-29. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Ground Game Was Solid Part II

Granted, the Raiders weren’t facing one of the better rushing teams in the league. Coming into the game, San Diego was in the lower tier of the league in terms of rushing yards per game. But given that San Diego wasn’t a run heavy team – and aren’t particularly efficient at running the ball – it is sometimes easy to overlook that and leave yourself vulnerable. Especially when your defense needs to gear up to face the top passing attack in the league.

But give the Raiders credit where credit is due. The second ranked run defense held San Diego to just 90 yards on the ground. Branden Oliver was San Diego’s leading rusher with 35 yards on nine carries. Rookie Melvin Gordon chipped in 29 yards on seven carries, and Danny Woodhead contributed 26 yards on five carries.

Through six games played, the Raiders have yet to allow a 100 yard rusher, and giving up just 84.3 yards per game, have the league’s second best run defense.

Over the course of the offseason, that was one area the Raiders focused on improving. After being gashed by opposing running backs all season long, Oakland committed to adding personnel to stop the run. Curtis Lofton, Dan Williams, and Malcolm Smith to go along with Justin Ellis, Benson Mayowa, and even Ray-Ray Armstrong as well as others to build a physically imposing front seven – one that can dominate at the point of attack and shut down opposing running backs.

They’ve had tremendous success so far this season and they will need to keep it up as the season grinds on.

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