Buy or Sell is a weekly series that will examine statements about the Oakland Raiders based on their most recent game, and provide a “buy” or “sell” response. This is the Week 4 edition.
The (3-1) Oakland Raiders has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Better yet, being 3-0 on the road is something this team hasn’t pulled off since the beginning of the decade.
After the thrilling win against the Ravens, there is plenty to discuss — both good and bad.
Let’s examine some of the thoughts and questions that have been discussed by Raider Nation in the days following the big win.
A statement will be given, and the answer will be given in a Buy/Sell format.
We’ll start with something many fans have called for:
The Raiders should abandon the running back by committee.
Oakland struggled to run the ball against Baltimore in a big way — 19 carries for 62 yards on the day, good for an average of 3.3 yards per carry.
A lot of credit should be given to the Ravens for shutting down the #2 rushing attack in the NFL, and while that is true, the fact of the matter is that Oakland’s rushing offense has been trending down with each game. From Week 1 to Week 4 — 167, 139, 123, and now 62 yards.
The main issue with a committee approach is that it is tough for any of the backs to get in the groove. To build confidence and to really get rolling.
So with that being said, it sounds like the committee should be abandoned. Right?
Not so fast my friend.
In terms of total yards rushing, the Raiders still have the fifth ranked offense. They are second in yards per carry at 5.3, trailing only the Cleveland Browns. And Oakland is tied for fourth in rushing touchdowns, and are tied for second with a big group with only one fumble, which came late in the fourth quarter in Week 4.
The Raiders are also the only team in the NFL that has three separate running backs with more than 100 yards on the ground.
So while the committee won’t lead to individual accolades or flashy box scores, it’s clearly been effective. Even after a bad game against a stout run defense, Oakland still boasts a top five rushing offense. That’s impressive.
And furthermore, who is deserving to be the top guy right now? The carries have been mostly split, with a slight advantage going to Latavius. But each of the backs has flashed quality play, and each of them have struggled at times.
So if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If Oakland puts together a few of these duds in a row, then we can revisit this conversation.