Oakland Raiders: A Few Keys To A Week Three Win In Washington

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 29: Stefen Wisniewski
OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 29: Stefen Wisniewski /
3 of 5
Oakland Raiders

Shut Down A Powerful Running Game

Because Washington’s passing game hasn’t quite been clicking on all cylinders just yet, the team has been leaning heavily on their run game. And with the league’s third ranked rushing attack through the opening pair of games, Washington’s run game has proven quite up to the task.

Washington features a pair of backs in Robert Kelley (22 attempts for 108 yards) and Samaje Perine (21 carries for 67 yards) that have shown an ability to move the chains and keep the offense rolling along. You can also throw in Chris Thompson who’s posted six carries for 81 yards and two touchdowns on the year.

Next: Notable Numbers Through Two Weeks Of Play

Washington’s average of 5.2 yards per carry is second in the league. That statistic becomes a little more daunting when ou consider that the Raiders are giving up 4.8 yards a carry, which ranks them twenty-sixth in the league in that department.

Although the return of Mario Edwards Jr and the addition of third-round pick Eddie Vanderdoes fueled hope that Oakland’s run game would be improved this season, the early returns have been – mixed. Although they all but shut down a powerful pair of backs in Tennessee’s DeMarco Murray (44 yards) and Derrick Henry (25 yards) in week one, they gave up 126 yards to the hapless Jets last week.

Currently, Oakland ranks nineteenth in the league against the run – which, to be fair, is an improvement over last season. But Oakland’s defensive front has been far from dominant against the run so far this season.

Oakland’s defensive line and linebackers are going to need to do a better job of shutting down the running lanes and keeping Cousins from breaking off long scrambles – something both Marcus Mariota and Josh McCown were able to do.

If they can take away the running game and force a passing game that hasn’t quite found its rhythm and stride just yet to make the plays, they’ll give themselves a solid chance of claiming the W.