Oakland Raiders Held Hostage by Offensive Line

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Sep 21, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; Oakland Raiders guard Austin Howard (77) and wide receiver Denarius Moore (17) head for the bench after New England Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork intercepted a pass in the final minute of their 16-9 at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Since Tony Sparano has become the interim head coach, a lot of things are improved but no wins have come from it. Opponent’s yards per carry against that Raiders run defense went from the high fours down  to 3.8 yards per carry. Opposing quarterbacks were completing 70 percent of their passes against the Raiders but only 59 percent in the last four.

Sparano even has the defense giving opponents a 3rd-down conversion rate of only 30 percent the last two games. But the one area that Sparano hasn’t improved is the offensive line and that’s supposed to be his area of expertise. That leaves the Raiders offense dead last in the NFL in total offense because they’re not run or pass blocking well.

Many think rookie quarterback Derek Carr gets great protection because the Raiders have only given up league low nine sacks. But that’s Carr quickly checking the ball down quickly to avoid sacks as he is among the most pressured quarterbacks in the NFL. The only game Carr got the deep ball going was against the Chargers, who don’t have the best pass rushers.

Running back Darren McFadden is averaging 3.8 yards per carry while Maurice Jones-Drew averages 2.1 per too. So you see it is the offensive line holding the whole team hostage as the defense gets to rest only four plays before going back on duty. The thing about it is all Sparano has to do make a couple of changes and they could get a different result.

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