Oakland Raiders: Week 1 Stat Predictions

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Aug 22, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray (28) dives for a touchdown in the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Latavius Murray

As mentioned before, Oakland’s performance on the ground in 2014 was ranked near the bottom of the NFL in nearly every category, but Murray is ready to take on the load and have quality production in 2015.

After missing his entire rookie season in 2013 with an ankle injury, Murray took advantage of the limited opportunities he received in 2014 to effectively take over the starting job towards the tail-end of the season. He carried the ball 82 times for 424 yards and two touchdowns in three starts in 15 games, while also earning 17 receptions for 143 yards.

The addition of center Rodney Hudson and the continued development of offensive guard Gabe Jackson should positively affect Murray’s production, but it is his ability to stay patient in the backfield and read what the defense is giving him that makes his ceiling so high. Murray is not a runner that solely benefits from a strong system and offensive line in front of him, for his natural ability and awareness on the field allow him to turn short gains into big plays down the field.

Luckily for Murray, Cincinnati’s run defense isn’t as prominent as their play in the passing game, as their defense allowed over 115 yards per game and a total of 16 rushing touchdowns in 2014.

Expect Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave to control this game on the ground, as he likely will try to wear down the Bengals’ defense on the ground before he opens up the passing game.

Stat Prediction:

26 carries for 114 yards, 2 touchdowns, 4 receptions for 48 yards

Next: Week 1 Predictions: Dan Williams