Oakland Raiders Film Room: Week 16 (Bills)
By Evan Ball
Waking Up The Run Game
Continuing on the trend of big plays being the difference in this game we get to the runs. There wasn’t a lot of middle ground in the Oakland run game. Either they ran for basically nothing, or they ran for big yards. The offensive line stepped up their blocking this week, especially on the left side of the line. Overall, it’s another example of how important it is to have a solid run game that defenses have to take into account.
One of the things Latavius Murray has done for the Oakland offense is open up the run game from 3 WR sets. On this play Oakland does a zone run to the right from 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WRs). Zone runs are designed to let the running back glide with the offensive line then make one cut upfield and turn on the afterburners. The line does a great job stepping to the right, moving the entire defensive front, and getting to the second level blocks giving Murray a clear lane to run through. TE Mychal Rivera does his part with the backside block and Murray bursts through the hole for a quick 17 yards.
This play should look familiar to Raiders fans. It’s the same counter play they used when Murray got his 90 yard touchdown against Kansas City in Week 12. Oakland does a counter run play from a heavy 21 personnel (2 RBs, 1 TE, 1 WR, 1 extra OL). Most of the line blocks down to the left side of the image while T Austin Howard pulls behind the line and FB Marcel Reece follows to lead block for McFadden. McFadden fakes to the left of the image before breaking right and running to daylight. While Reece doesn’t get a much of a body on LB Nigel Bradham, he does disrupt him just enough to let McFadden get outside to the open field and a near TD.