Saying the 2012 Oakland Raiders are struggling in the running game is like saying Lindsay Lohan is struggling with walking the straight and narrow. Some things are beyond obvious.
While the season is far from over the playoff possibilities are fading with each uninspired performance. Normally the last thing you want to see coming off a bye week that followed the worst performance of the season is an undefeated team like the Atlanta Falcons. But a 5-0 record has nothing to do with how a team defends the run and the Falcons aren’t run stoppers.
The Raiders have a window to exploit a weakness which could, in turn, shock the world. Whether or not the bye week was spent wisely by fixing the problems that have plagued Darren McFadden and the O-line remains to be seen.
What we do know for sure is that the Raiders are remaining positive despite the struggles.
Dennis Allen isn’t shying away from running the rock. He’s demanding the Raider dial up more running plays. That’s just fine by running backs coach Kelly Skipper as he’s been dying to see McFadden rip off more long runs.
Of course there’s only one way to ensure McFadden is more effective. Skipper keeps it simple when discussing the best fix for the running woes.
“We have to get more attempts. We have to convert a little better on third down and get more attempts. You’ll see a big change. The more reps you get, the better you get at it. That’s the biggest thing. And sometimes in game situations, the flow of it has kind of dictated what’s going on, But the more attempts, the better it’s going to get.”
That makes more than enough sense to me. Something else that would help is for the defense to get a few more stops. But we’ll stay the course with focusing on the positive outlook Oakland is projecting for running the ball.
It takes a certain determination to succeed at the highest level. That the Raiders aren’t discouraged from sticking to the running game is a sure sign that everyone is onboard for the long haul. Then again it’s not like there is much else that can be done at this point. McFadden is the engine that drives this team. The lone game that he got off this season was also the lone game the Raiders have won thus far this season. That’s not coincidence at all and if he gets going in Atlanta the same result could ensue. That would more than prove the power of positive thinking.