Shut Down Rodgers
Something else the Raiders haven’t been very good at this year is shutting down another team’s running game. Though they did do a better job of limiting Jacksonville to just 105 rushing yards as a team, it’s not something to get overly excited about. Everybody has shut down Jacksonville’s running game – they rank twenty-eighth in the league.
But, as they say, you have to start somewhere, right?
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Some might – and have – guffawed at the notion that Oakland has to step up and be even better against Tampa Bay’s run game. Although it’s true.
The last couple of weeks, Tampa Bay’s run game has improved and they currently have the league’s eleventh ranked rushing offense. Last week against San Francisco, the Buccaneers went off for 249 yards on the ground – led by Jacquizz Rodgers and his 154 yards.
The last two games, Rodgers has eclipsed the century mark, gaining 101 yards against Carolina and the 154 against San Francisco.
But – people argue – Rodgers racked up those yards on subpar run defenses. If you haven’t been paying attention – and to make a statement like that, maybe you haven’t – that’s exactly what the Raiders have at this moment.
Though better against the Jags, the Raiders are still giving up a tick over 128 rushing yards per game. Which isn’t very good, no matter which way you try to slice it.
Tampa Bay’s run game is far better than Jacksonville’s and Rodgers has really been coming on of late. He presents a challenge to this defense and it’s one they had better be able to step up to and defend. Otherwise, it could be a long day indeed.