Oakland Raiders: 7 Things To Keep An Eye On Against Arizona Cardinals

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 12: Derek Carr
GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 12: Derek Carr /
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Oakland Raiders
Oakland Raiders /

Beast Mode Jr. In The Making?

Although they did post the league’s sixth-best running game in 2016, the Raiders opted to let Latavius Murray walk and the moved mountains to bring Marshawn Lynch to the East Bay. The expectation is that he’d bring an added spark to the running game.

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We likely aren’t going to see much – if anything at all – of Lynch against Arizona though. Given his age and the wear and tear on his body because of his physical style of running, Oakland is likely going to limit him throughout the preseason to keep him as fresh as possible for the coming year.

Instead, we’re likely going to see plenty of DeAndre Washington, Jalen Richard, and rookie Elijah Hood.

Hood, one of Oakland’s seventh-round draft picks this season (two hundred forty second overall), could be in line to fill the Lynch role should Lynch miss time this season. At five-foot-eleven, 230 pounds, he’s roughly the same size as Lynch (he’s about 20 pounds heavier) and has a similar style of physical, punish-the- defender running.

In fact, Hood grew up idolizing Lynch and patterned his game after Beast Mode’s.

"“Marshawn Lynch, growing up watching him play, honestly as a runner, that’s one of the running backs I try to model my game after the most.”"

The Raiders had a potent ground game last season. One that kept defenses honest and helped allow the passing game to really flourish. And with Lynch and Hood joining Washington and Richard, the Oakland ground game could be set up for some really good days ahead.