Oakland Raiders Have to Get More out of Running Game

If the Oakland Raiders are ever to become a more effective offense, they have to get more out of the running game. That might sound ludicrous, considering Dennis Allen’s team possesses the fourth-ranked rushing attack in the NFL, yet, in this case, the statistics are incredibly misleading.

Running back Darren McFadden is halfway through another disappointing, injury-filled campaign in which he has topped the 100-yard barrier just once. He has already missed one game with a hamstring injury and possibly will sit out Oakland’s Week 9 game in New York because of the same injury.

Rashad Jennings has actually been a more effective runner than McFadden this season, as he proved in the Raiders’ loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Jennings has also given the offense a lift with his receiving skills.

Yet, truth be told, the Raiders would probably be ranked at or near the bottom for running the ball were it not for quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

Pryor has accounted for 41 percent of Oakland’s rushing yardage. His 485 yards on the ground not only lead the Raiders, but they also place the young quarterback 15th in rushing among all NFL players. He’s got more yards running than such backs as Baltimore’s Ray Rice, Buffalo's C.J. Spiller, Jacksonville’s Maurice Jones-Drew and Dallas’ DeMarco Murray.

Oakland’s quarterback has a pair of 100-yard games this season and fell six yards shy of a third. McFadden and Jennings have two between them.

Allen has said all season that it doesn’t matter where the rushing yards come from, just as long as they come. He couldn’t have been more misguided.

A large chunk of Pryor’s rushing totals have come as a result of him scrambling out of the pocket on a pass play and taking off downfield. It’s one of the aspects to Pryor’s game that has made him as effective as he’s bee...

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