Oakland Raiders: Notes And Observations From Week Nine

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Nov 8, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; General view of the line of scrimmage as Oakland Raiders long snapper Jon Condo prepares to snap the ball in a NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Great Wall Of Oakland

Coming into the season, the so-called experts went on and on and on about how bad the Raiders offensive line was going to be. To be more specific, they singled out the right side of the offensive line, saying that Austin Howard and J’Marcus Webb weren’t going to be able to protect Carr and would cause the entire line to crumble.

Eight games into the season now, we’re all still waiting for the collapse of Oakland’s offensive line.

The fact of the matter is that Oakland’s offensive line, under the tutelage of Mike Tice, has become of the NFL’s best units. The offensive line has been utterly dominant. For the season, Oakland’s offensive line has surrendered a total of 10 sacks – Carr has absorbed only eight of those. That’s a figure that puts them among the NFL’s very best. And against one of the league’s better pass rushing units, the Steelers – coming in with 22 sacks on the season – were held entirely sackless.

As good as they’ve been pass blocking, the offensive line has been just as good run blocking as well. Running back Latavius Murray is sixth in the entire NFL with his 630 yards on the ground, and is the AFC’s rushing leader.

As a unit, the Raiders are run blocking well enough for their backs to average 4.5 yards per carry. The Raiders though, don’t run very much. They are twenty-ninth in the league in rushing attempts per game at 23.5. Only San Diego, Miami, and Detroit average fewer rushing attempts per game.

This offensive line is doing the job in both run and pass blocking. And far from being the liability many thought it would be before the season started, the offensive line has been one of the strengths of this team.

Next: Their Fate Is In Their Hands