Oakland Raiders Must Help Derek Carr by Starting Latavius Murray

You’ll latch onto the dimmest of bright spots when your team is 0-10. Even the faintest glimmers of hope burn hot like the sun when you’re staring into a black abyss. That’s just the way the cold universe of NFL football works once a team is out of the playoff picture.

While the season flickers on for another six games, the Oakland Raiders need to probe what little talent their 2014 season hasn’t already sucked into a black hole. Maybe they can find a star if they look hard enough and long enough in the right places.

One of them might be second-year running back Latavius Murray, who flashed in a 13-6 loss to the San Diego Chargers Sunday with four carries for 43 yards and three receptions for 16 yards. Considering the running game’s failure to launch in Oakland this season, Murray has done enough to start.

Interim head coach Tony Sparano acknowledged after the game Sunday that the Raiders were trying to get Murray more involved. He ended up playing more than Darren McFadden for the first time this season, and that probably isn't going to change going forward.

"He played a little bit more yesterday and he’s going to continue to do that," Sparano said Monday via Raiders.com. "I like what I’ve seen out of him so far. So in a roundabout way, I’m saying yeah, you’re going to see more of him.”

The Raiders decided quarterback Derek Carr was worthy of a thorough examination by making him the Week 1 starter, but they failed to equip him with the weapons necessary to produce. At least an average running game could have protected Carr, but that never came to fruition.

Maybe Murray’s 10 carries for 54 yards and six receptions for 35 yards on the season are a fluke. Maybe with a bigger sample size Murray falls victim to poor run blocking by the offensive line, just as running backs Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew have this season.

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