Ed Szczepanski-US PRESSWIRE

Now Or Never For Raiders Running Game


The time for patience with the Raiders adapting to the thus far failed zone blocking scheme has passed. The Raiders aren’t going to have much more than pride to play for if they fall to 1-4 with another uninspired performance on Sunday.

In case you didn’t get the memo, the Atlanta Falcons have a run defense only Chuck Bresnahan would envy. Currently the dirty birds are giving up 5+ yards per carry. Normally a healthy Darren McFadden would mean plenty of pain in store for the ATL and increased odds of the Raiders actually winning.

That would be a safe bet if the Raiders weren’t dead last in rushing. How a team with a healthy McFadden can only average 60 yards a game is beyond maddening…it’s shameful.

Knapp’s zone scheme be damned! The Raiders have got to get a formula in place to play to what should be their greatest strength. Running the ball, controlling the clock thus keeping Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense off the field is the only way to beat an undefeated Atlanta squad in their crib.

Dennis Allen has already gone on the record saying he wants the Raiders to run the ball more. That’s music to the ears of McFadden and could be a stern warning to the Falcons.

This is clearly a crossroads moment for Allen early in his coaching career. He might not want to abandon ship with regards to Knapp’s play calling and design at this point but this is a business and someone must be held accountable.

Time to beat this dead horse again…Greg Knapp apologists should turn away now.

We’ve been here before with Knapp. That is the real issue. His ideals made McFadden just as useless last time he was calling plays in Oakland. Therein lies the real frustration with this scenario. Knapp has had a month to get his offense in gear. That is more than enough time. After Sunday if there is no drastic improvement Coach Allen will look foolish for staying the course and the Raiders will be dead in the water.

If players are no longer on scholarship in Oakland then neither should coaches. Time is not a luxury in pro football and the time is now or never for this offensive scheme to show some real results.

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Tags: Oakland Raiders

  • http://twitter.com/rodster213 Terrell Randall

    No!! We have seen enough!! So when this ZBS crashes and burns vs ATL, it will be too late for DA will completely lose this team and no one will give a damn about him from here on. You stop the car BEFORE IT RUNS OFF THE CLIFF!!

  • REDNBLACK

    The Falcons can stop the run. Mike Nolans been up against great QBs so far this year. Who can put it in the air and run. They have played in the Nickel pkg most of the season as you know thats without a middle linebacker and an extra DB. The Falcons had that philosophy the last 4 seasons and got beat through the air. Teams that can score almost at will in the air will get up on you before you can say dont do it. If the Raiders cant pressure Matt Ryan who has 13 TDs and 1 rushing TD and a TE who will get his 100th Career TD catch. Not going to mention the WRs Im sure they’re giving Raider Nation nightmares. So the whole need more rushing attempts deal will probably be on hold for another week. At least for a half anyway. Mike Smith WILL tie Dan Reeves for most wins in the franchise, with Smith having lost only 21 games compared to Reeves 59 losses. Raider Nation do you remember that rookie QB and that young team came to your house and shut them out. At the half the Raiders had -2 yrds total offense and ended the game with only 77 yrds and just 3 first downs. 3rd fewest since the merger. Its any given Sunday in the NFL but the Falcons have by far the best coaching staff, locker room and front office in the league and the players are going to play every game like its a playoff game. We will gameplan. Dont expect this to be one of those games where the team slacks off and gets upset.