Tough Loss Points to Bright Future For Oakland Raiders

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Oct 12, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders head coach Tony Sparano talks with is team during the fourth quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive Line

The offensive line has always been the strength of the team as the protected quarterback well but now it’s starting to show in the running game. Once again, the deep ball takes a couple of those opposing defensive players out of the box so there’s room to run. Sunday, there were holes for both McFadden and Jones-Drew to run through and get nice chunks of yardage.

And going back to the deep ball again, it takes a little more time for receivers to break open on deep routes and the offensive line was up for that. Left tackle Donald Penn looks to be regaining his 2012 form that led him to making the NFL Top-100 list. Rookie left guard Gabe Jackson looks like a monster in there and center Stephen Wisniewski holds them all together.

Right guard Austin Howard looks like he’s starting to come along a bit after struggling to make the switch from tackle. Then Menelik Watson looked really good Sunday both as a pass protector and run blocker to help the offense to their best performance all season. Watson is on the right side now but this tremendous athlete is the future franchise left tackle once Penn slows down.