Oakland Raiders Week 4 Primer: Bad News Bears

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Sep 27, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray (28) dives into the end zone for a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns during the fourth quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Murray Gets Going

The stats may be deceiving and even make it look as if the Raiders were a relatively balanced offense all game. In reality, the Raiders maintained their pass-first approach and it served them very well. Amari Cooper was very effective early in the game and the vast majority of his yardage came in the first half. Early in the game, the Raiders struggled to run the football. It was not until Murray ripped off a 54 yard run in the third quarter that the Raiders began to really assert themselves on the ground.

As mentioned previously, the Raiders do not have an offensive line that is the traditional mauling type of group in the run game. However, what they do well is move as a team. Webb and Howard have made a nice duo on the right side, but they work very well as a team moving up to the second level to block. The same goes for Jackson and Hudson. These duos allow the Raiders to have a functional running game, especially when the Raiders decide to spread a defense out.

Murray running well gives the Raiders an added wrinkle to their playbook. Musgrave likes to call power and trap plays from shotgun generally pulling Hudson, Jackson, or Howard. When the running game is a threat, the Raiders can then play action out of the gun while keeping the same blocking concepts. In the future, Carr may have a run/pass option, but for now the play action is ultra effective because the blockers are in motion going through a legitimate run blocking concept. This is an idea that Chip Kelly uses and because it looks identical to the running play it sets up the defense exceptionally well.

Next: Week 4 Primer: The Interception