49ers vs. Raiders: Breaking Down Oakland’s Game Plan

The Oakland Raiders will attempt to move on from a week to forget. After a blowout loss to the St. Louis Rams, the Silver and Black prepare for a battle with another Bay Area franchise, the San Francisco 49ers.

The 49ers have fallen short of expectations, but the Raiders are still facing a tough defense. The availability of Latavius Murray will contribute to the Raiders’ offensive success. 

Colin Kaepernick has seemingly been less effective with more weapons around him, but he’s still getting the ball to reliable weapons to keep San Francisco competitive. 

The Raiders must force Kaepernick to find unfamiliar weapons on offense and use their running backs efficiently to earn their second win.


Running Back Usage and Rotation

According to Inside Bay Area reporter Steve Corkran, Murray practiced on Wednesday, but his status remains uncertain. If he cannot perform at an optimum level, Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden need to be effective in the short passing game to attack the middle of the field.

The Raiders' former sixth-round pick instantly propped up the backfield with only four carries in their Week 12 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. Whether this performance was a flash in the pan or not, Murray's speed is an asset against stout defenses that are solid in the trenches.

San Francisco’s defensive line doesn’t accumulate a high volume of sacks, but it's capable of thwarting the run between the guards. Murray has the ability to escape on the edge, where the 49ers lack speed to cover. 

Similar to the 49ers, the Chiefs have a stout physical defensive line that plugs that gaps very well. The Raiders were able to run the ball using speed on the edge on this particular play. 

Murray takes the handoff. Kansas City's defensive line crowds the middle.
Article Source: Bleacher Report - Oakland Raiders