Oakland Raiders: Keys To Victory Over Detroit Lions

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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

The Run? Yeah Stop It

For much of the first half of the season, the Raiders had one of the best run defenses in the league – they had been the second ranked run defense prior to their matchup with Pittsburgh two weeks ago.

And now, after two absolutely disastrous performances in which they were absolutely gashed for 458 yards, Oakland’s once vaunted run defense has plummeted all the way down to the twenty-second best in the league.

It’s been quite the fall from grace for the formerly brutal, run stuffing unit.

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But if the Raiders are going to have any sort of success, they are depending on that unit to rediscover that magic that had made them so good and so dangerous. And they must find it against the Lions. It’s a task that is made all the more difficult with the suspension of Aldon Smith, who along with Khalil Mack, was ranked in the top ten run stuffing linebackers in the NFL by Pro Football Focus.

But the Raiders still have some players who can set the tone early on with some solid, hard hitting play.

The Lions are a team that the Raiders’ defensive front can get well against in a hurry. Simply put, the Lions running game stinks. They are dead last in rushing attempts, rushing yards, and are twenty-ninth in rushing touchdowns. Their running game is about as effective as Oakland’s was last season.

That being said, the Raiders can’t sleep on Ameer Abdullah. With Le’Veon Bell out for the Steelers a couple of weeks ago, it certainly seemed like the team had no game plan for his replacement, DeAngelo Williams who then absolutely gutted that Raider run defense.

The Raiders need to be careful. With a run game so fantastically awful, it would be easier to fall into a trap and ignore it – only to have Abdullah light up the defense.

The Raiders were working some magic as run stuffers through the first half of the season and they desperately need to rediscover that magic.

Next: Find The Chink In The Armor