Oakland Raiders: Notes And Observations From Week Ten

3 of 7

Nov 15, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) runs the ball against the Oakland Raiders in the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Where Was The Run Defense?

Through their first seven games of the season, Oakland’s run defense had been utterly dominant, ranked as the second best run defense in the NFL. Yeah, after two weeks of getting gashed and abused, that sort of dominance in the run game seems like a distant memory.

Two weeks ago, it was backup running back DeAngelo Williams – Pittsburgh’s new starter in place of their injured star, Le’Veon Bell – who ran wild all over Oakland’s vaunted run defense. Williams gouged the Raiders for 170 yards on the ground.

More from Golden Gate Sports

You had to figure that Adrian Peterson, the NFL’s leading rusher, would pose some problems for the Raiders. But with as good as the run defense has been, you would have hoped that they could get themselves back on track and limit the damage he could do.

That unfortunately, was not the case.

Peterson went off, trashing Oakland’s run defense for 203 yards on 26 carries – an average of 7.8 yards per carry. His 80 yard burst for a score late in the fourth quarter sealed the deal and put the game out of reach.

The disintegration of Oakland’s once stout run defense is going to cause them a lot of problems down the stretch if they can’t figure it out and get it back under control. If they can’t stop an opponent’s run game, and are forcing their safeties to play closer to the line to defend against the run – as they’d been using Taylor Mays – they’re going to weaken an already weak secondary.

Whatever magic that run defense had, they’re going to need to rediscover quickly.

Next: Bad Decisions Are Costly