Oakland Raiders: Keys to Victory over the Chicago 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

Ride the “Tay Train” All Day Long

After limiting his touches to just 11 and 15 in the first two weeks, Raiders offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave finally allowed running back Latavius Murray to carry the load for the offense against Cleveland in Week 3. Murray carried the ball 26 times for 139 yards and a touchdown in Oakland’s win over the Browns.

Although Murray was pitted against the NFL’s worst run defense to date in Cleveland, the Bears run defense isn’t much better, as Chicago has allowed the fourth-most rushing yards in the league through three games.

Especially with Chicago’s pass rush on the rise, Oakland must look to Murray in order to keep the Bears edge rushers from pinning their ears back on each and every play. If Oakland can successfully run the draw play or even just some plays in-between the tackles, it should force edge-rushers like McPhee and Houston to more consistently play the tackle in front of them rather than look to beat him upfield on a speed rush.

Not only should an increased workload for Murray make it easier for Carr and the passing game, but he also a highly productive back in the NFL right now. Murray can easily take over this game if he is given the opportunity, as his 4.8 yards per carry average is ranked among the top running backs in the NFL.

Handing the ball off to Murray 20+ times can go one of two ways: (1) Murray’s early production on the ground forces the Bears to stack the box, and in turn, open up the passing game for Carr and Cooper; (2) or he simply exposes the Bears defense on the ground for over 100 rushing yards and a maybe couple touchdowns. I see it as a win/win.