Get The Ground Game Going Early
Part of what we hope is Oakland’s fast start on offense will be copious amounts of the ground game gashing the Chiefs defense. Setting a hard, physical tone with a bruising, punch you in the mouth rushing attack will open things up for the passing game. But more than that, it will allow the Raiders to impose their will on Kansas City’s defensive front.
Of course, that task is going to be made a little more difficult now that Latavius Murray has been ruled out of Sunday’s game with an injury. With as strong as Murray has been running this season, it’s a component to their ground game that they will miss.
But DeAndre Washington, Jalen Richard, and Jamize Olawale seemed capable of filling the void last week against San Diego. No, they didn’t light it up, but they did do what they were asked to do very capably.
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And for all of their defensive issues, San Diego does have the league’s seventh best run defense, so Oakland’s rookie backs did a nice job of gaining positive yards when they were needed the most.
Against the Chiefs, Oakland’s will be squaring off with the league’s twenty-ninth ranked run defense. Which means that for the first time in three weeks, they won’t be facing one of the league’s stingiest units and might actually have some room to run.
Don’t think that automatically means Washington and Richard are going to have monster days. But they could. Against a run defense that’s been as porous as Kansas City’s, the rookies might find plenty of daylight.
If Oakland can establish a strong presence on the ground and dictate the pace of the game to Kansas City, they stand a better chance of coming away with a win.