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Silver Minings: Raiders run game is showing signs of life

It was strong against the Giants in Week 9

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NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at New York Giants
Josh Jacobs
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

One of the bright spots of an otherwise gloomy day in a 23-16 loss at the New York Giants on Sunday was the Las Vegas Raiders’ run game.

The run game, which has struggled for much of the season, came alive at MetLife. The Raiders had 117 yards on 20 carries, good for a strong 5.9 per carry average. Also, Pro Football Focus’ Week 9 grades reflect how good of a day it was for many key players involved in the ground game:

This week, Raiders interim head coach Rich Bisaccia said he has seen signs of both the offensive line and the running backs getting more comfortable in the ground game.

“I think coach (Tom) Cable and (Greg) Olson, what they’ve done with the run game of maybe pairing it down a little bit and being a little bit of a downhill run team at this particular point, I think to have a little bit more confidence in what we are doing with what Coach Cable is working with them,” Bisaccia said.

“So, it’s still a work in progress. We’re still working on our identity, and I think we’re certainly looking for better things to come ... I know two weeks ago we really got Kenyan (Drake) involved in what was going on. Not only in the run game but certainly in the pass game, and they were both effective both ways yesterday. I thought we had another big screen. Their guy did a heck of a job coming out of the stack and clipping up Josh (Jacobs) in the back. And then we had a good play out there in the flat to Drake and he had a big first down run for us out there as well on both sides.

“So, yeah, is that the version we envisioned? I think certainly that’s what it is. I still think, and they still think, there is room for improvement as to what we are doing. Again, Oly [Greg Olson] and Coach Cable, I think they are on the verge of maybe forming us a little bit of an identity running the football. We’ve gotten to be a little bit better play-action team in the last few weeks. I think we’ve done a better job with our boots and our nakeds outside. We’ve hit some plays out there. You saw us hit Alec Ingold on the one naked [bootleg] down there in the red zone. So, hopefully those things will just keep improving.”

In other Raiders’ links:

  • Wrapping up the Giants game: The Athletic has a full review of Week 9’s loss to the Giants.
  • McKinney honored: New York Giants defensive back Xavier McKinney was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his two-interception performance, including a Pick Six, against the Raiders in a 23-16 Giants’ win Sunday.
  • Hot ticket: Sunday’s Raiders-Chiefs game at Allegiant Stadium has the highest secondary-ticket market in the NFL this week.
  • O-line rankings; PFF has the Raiders ranked as the 26th best offensive line going into Week 10.