Oakland Raiders Offense Limited by Poor Run Blocking

What’s wrong with the Oakland Raiders' rushing attack? The coaching staff will spend a large portion of the bye week coming up with a solution to the biggest problem on the offensive side of the ball. 

Head coach Jack Del Rio's conservative use of starting running back Latavius Murray down the stretch in the previous two outings compounded the issues in the backfield.

Del Rio didn’t seem particularly down on Murray during Wednesday’s press conference, and it’s safe to say that he’ll continue to shoulder the bulk of the load coming out of the bye.

So, what’s wrong with the ground attack? We’ll explore some theories floating around the web.


Does Murray Need More Carries?

This isn’t the problem. The league has changed. Teams no longer feed their workhorse running backs 20-plus carries per game consistently. Defensive players are entering the league more athletic, in better shape and more capable of crushing running backs, which shortens careers at the position.

Murray ranks seventh in the league in rush attempts and averages 16 carries per game. His workload is in the upper echelon of today’s NFL. Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte stands as the only tailback averaging 20 or more carries per game. There’s nothing inadequate about Murray’s average in rush attempts.

*Played on Thursday night of Week 6.

However, the Raiders need solid productivity from the backup running back position. Despite Murray’s decent share of carries, Oakland ranks 29th in rush attempts at approximately 22 rush attempts per game.

The backups are averaging approximately six carries per game, which shows that the problem extends beyond Murray's productivity. The Raiders' starting running back banged up his shoulder, which likely factored into his strug...

About the Author