Who Will Win the Oakland Raiders’ Starting Running Back Battle?

There are two different types of running backs vying for the starting position with the Oakland Raiders. On one hand, you have a larger back who needs more carries but can control the tempo of a game. Then you have a leaner back capable of breaking away for 90 yards at any point in the game.

Trent Richardson is the former and Latavius Murray is the latter. Who should win the position battle?


Murray Not Ready

Head coach Jack Del Rio has preached about earning your spot. What if I told you Murray has 82 career carries, which is equivalent to four games for a workhorse RB carrying the ball 20-21 times per game? Should that limited body of work vault him into the starting position?

My concern with Murray is he’s still a very raw talent learning the game, much like a mid-round pick out of college. Why thrust him into the starting position after only six significant games of NFL football?


Murray carried the ball 20-plus times in only two of those six games and only scored two touchdowns—both in the same game. His sample showed his potential, but was he spectacular? Outside of a 90-yard TD run against the Kansas City Chiefs, Murray’s numbers were average. After the Chiefs game he carried the ball 68 times for 258 yards over the span of four games; that’s not spectacular, that’s OK.

Murray was placed on injured reserve after getting his ankle scoped in his rookie year. In that same Chiefs game where he showed potential, he was dinged with a concussion, forcing him to miss the following game against the St. Louis Rams.

As a result, we have six games in which he played significant time, two notable injuries, two career touchdowns scored in the same game and one 90-yard dash. Does that really sound like a running back ready to take over the starting job?

The second-year RB is only 24 years ...

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