clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Oakland Raiders Will Exploit a Weak New England Patriots' Rush Defense

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Darren McFadden #20 of the Oakland Raiders celebrates against the New York Jets at O.co Coliseum on September 25, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Darren McFadden #20 of the Oakland Raiders celebrates against the New York Jets at O.co Coliseum on September 25, 2011 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Getty Images

If the Oakland Raiders are going to beat the New England Patriots they are going to have to run the ball on them effectively. While the passing offense has made great strides, the rush offense is still how this team can take over a game, and this one will be no different.

A successful run game will allow the Raiders to wear down and beat up the Patriots. Luckily for the Raiders, they should be in a position to do just that.

The Patriots defense is getting torched this year. They have been abysmal in pass defense, but their rush defense hasn't been so hot either. Jump over for more....

While the Pats are 10th in rushing yards allowed per game. this is a mirage. Teams simply aren't running on them often. They have faced the seventh fewest rushing attempts in the NFL at 21.3.

The Patriots are 21st in yards allowed per rush at 4.3 yards per carry.

They have been very solid in run defense when the defense needs to got off the field. With two yards or less to go on third and fourth down they are stopping teams short of the first down on runs 62 percent of the time. This is fourth in the NFL. Power rank 4th at 38 percent.

The Raiders are ninth in the NFL running the ball in these situations. They succeed 73 percent of the time.

This stiff rush defense doesn't translate to other situations. The Patriots are stopping rushers for zero or less yards 20 percent of the time. This is 18th in the NFL.

The Raiders are stuffed just 16 percent of the time for zero or less yards. This is seventh in the NFL.

They are 21st stopping runs on the second level and 15th in the open field. The Raiders are ninth on the second level and second in the open field.

They are awful stopping runs going to the offenses left. Rushes outside the left tackle they are last in the NFL by almost two yards per carry.

This bodes well for the Raiders who are seventh in the NFL on these runs.

They aren't so hot between the tackles either. They are ranked 25th, 20th and 30th in runs from left to right on the offensive line. The Raiders are fifth, 18th and seventh in these areas.

The one place they are strong is to the outside right where they are ranked ninth. This coincides with the Raiders worst area to run. They are 19th to the outside right—only three percent of the Raiders carries have gone to this area.

The Patriots will no doubt focus on stopping the run and will often slide an extra guy into the box. The Raiders will have to make them pay with the passing game when they do this to keep them honest.

If the Raiders can do this, then they can find great success rushing. To do this, the Raiders' offensive line is going to have to perform like it did last week. The Patriots have a strong defensive line, and if the Raiders can hold their blocks they should be able to exploit the Patriots below average outside linebackers.

Again, Kevin Boss' blocking should be a big factor. He can help seal off the edge and allow McFadden to get to the second level untouched, and when this happens, the endzone is the limit.