Oakland Raiders: Notes And Observations From Week Eight

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Nov 1, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Taiwan Jones (22) runs the ball against the New York Jets in the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Jets 34-20. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Ground Game Is Back

After not having a running game to speak of for – a really long time, the Raiders announced to the NFL and the world that they have a running game that is a force to be reckoned with.

Over the early part of the season, the Raiders have used third year back Latavius Murray pretty sparingly. With the exception of the game against Cleveland in week three in which he carried the ball 26 times – for 139 yards and an impressive 5.4 yards per attempt, thank you very much – he’s been averaging around 14 carries a week.

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And with Oakland squaring off against the NFL’s top ranked run defense, most experts figured that the Raiders were going to have to rely on the arm of Derek Carr if they hoped to pull the upset over the Jets. Most experts didn’t see Murray factoring into the game plan very much. And given the fact that at the time, the Jets were allowing an average of just 72 yards on the ground per game, it seemed like a reasonable thing to believe.

The Raiders though, put a renewed focus on the running game and gave the ball to Murray 20 times in the game. And for his part, Murray rewarded them with 113 yards on the ground. Murray became just the second running back to hit the century mark against the Jets this season – Philadelphia’s Ryan Mathews was the first to top it with 108 yards in a week three game.

But to absolutely shred the league’s best run defense like they did, Murray and the Raiders proved to the league that they are a multi-dimensional offense and that they had best prepare not just for Carr and his wideouts, but for Murray and Oakland’s backs as well.

Next: Defensive Domination