Oakland Raiders Offensive Line Overrated

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Aug 8, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Oakland Raiders assistant head coach/offensive line Tony Sparano talks to his team during a break in the game with the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. Vikings win 10-6. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Many assumed that the strength of the Oakland Raiders was the offensive line going into this season. But that assumption made the same thing of all of us as the offensive line looks more like the reason why they’re 0-7. Star running back Darren McFadden gets the blame for the Raiders’ struggles running the ball this year but he looks better than he did in 2011.

While he still has his burst and stiff arm, he has added the ability to break tackles and push the pile. Even Raiders Postgame analyst Bill Romanowki had to backtrack on that after actually watching the film on him. Put last year on McFadden as he averaged 3.3 yards per while Rashaad Jennings averaged 4.5 and Marcel Reece averaged 4.7.

But this year, he averages 4.0 while Maurice Jones-Drew averages  2.3 and Latavius Murray averages 1.8. All you have to do is look at what the other running backs on his team are doing to see that it isn’t his fault. The passing game is no better with phenomenal rookie quarterback Derek Carr averaging only 6.1 yards per pass attempt.

Carr gets a pass for being a rookie but would have better rookie numbers than Andrew Luck if he had a his supporting cast. He needs better receivers but whats really hurting him is that he is among the most pressured quarterbacks in the NFL. The reason why Carr is the second least sacked quarterback in the NFL is because he has a lightning quick release and uses it.

With the exception of San Diego Chargers game, Carr has to quickly check the ball down to avoid sacks. Left tackle Donald Penn is back to his Pro Bowl form and center Stefen Wisniewski has been steady all year. Then there’s rookie left guard Gabe Jackson, who has been plenty pleasant but not a surprise.

So where are the leaks in the offensive line?

Turn the page to see.