Oakland Raiders Film Room: Week 12 (Chiefs)

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Rocketship Murray and Heavy Personnel Sets

The Oakland run game has been something of an issue this season – an issue they managed to get some fixes for against Kansas City. The young, explosive legs of Latavius Murray helped give Oakland it’s early lead in the game, but the run game slowed down when he went out with a concussion. From that point Oakland experimented with Darren McFadden, Maurice Jones-Drew, and finally Marcel Reece to get the run game going again. At the end of the day several results were mixed save one: Oakland’s best running came from heavy and jumbo personnel sets with 6 offensive linemen. Examining Murray’s two TD runs we can see how effective that extra weight up front was in helping Oakland’s run game.

Credit: NFL Game Rewind

Oakland uses power run here out of a heavy 13 personnel (1 RB, 2 TE, 1 extra OL in place of 3rd TE, 1 WR) to get the first TD of the game despite Kansas City loading 9 in the box with their backs near the goal line. TE Mychal Rivera motions toward the strong side of the play and lines up in an offset position ready to make a big block. All these bodies in such a tight space work to give Oakland a numbers advantage. Left of the center Oakland has five big blockers to five defenders, with Murray as the free man. Murray uses his vision to see the hole is filled with defenders pushing back against the power run, but the side is wide open and uses his speed to get around the defense for the touchdown.

Credit: NFL Game Rewind

Murray’s second touchdown was a prime example of not just solid execution and athleticism on Murray’s part, but great play calling by the coaches. They bring out the same heavy 13 personnel (1 RB, 2 TE, 1 extra OL in place of 3rd TE, 1 WR) and motion TE Brian Leonhardt into the formation. The offset look from Rivera seems to alert to power run, but Leonhardt’s position complicates that read. Oakland then runs a counter trey concept. Murray bounces toward the right of the image before following his blocks to the left. Rivera runs into the hole to block LB James-Michael Johnson and LG Khalif Barnes pulls around him for the kick out block. Watch LB Josh Mauga on the play (#90) first he flows with the line reading power run, then he hustles to get back in position once he sees the counter action. This puts him in perfect over pursuit for Murray’s amazing cutback and from there it’s open field to the end zone.