Oakland Raiders Film Room: OAK at SD

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Working in the Run Game

It wasn’t all passing. The running game was also hitting hard early on. Being successful with the run game forces the linebackers to focus in on the running backs. Combined with using running backs as pass catchers, like on the previous play, San Diego’s linebackers will have to keep extra attention on the running backs on run and pass plays. This comes into play later.

The right side of the offensive line deserves acknowledgement for their performance against San Diego. After such an abysmal performance in recent weeks, they were a strength of the offensive line. In fewer places was that more evident than on this First Quarter lead play.

Right tackle Austin Howard does an excellent job kicking out the DE, while guard J’Marcus Webb crashes down on the DT. They blow a hole wide open for FB Jamize Olawale to run through like a freight train and blow up the nearside linebacker.

Here’s the most important part. They don’t give up on their blocks for a second. Howard rides the DE all the way into the backfield. Webb moves off his double team and picks up the trailing linebacker for the second level block. This gives RB Latavius Murray all the room in the world to make a play. Add in some excellent blocking from the WRs on the right side and you get a solid 14 yards on a 1st down run play.

Okay, respect the short pass. Check. Respect the run game. Check. Now what?

Next: The Deep Ball