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Silver Minings: Jon Gruden called the Raiders run game in the red zone ‘horrific’

“We emphasize it every day and every year ... I got to call better plays,” Gruden said in his Saturday press conference

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NFL: Miami Dolphins at Las Vegas Raiders Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The red zone is the main topic of discussion when it comes to the Las Vegas Raiders. Everyone wants to know who to blame for the issue. Is it Derek Carr, or is it Jon Gruden?

The passing game didn’t have its best effort close to the end zone. On the flip side, the running game gets overlooked when the red zone conversation comes up.

Gruden was asked about the red zone this week during his Saturday press conference. He gave an interesting answer to the problems that happen in the red area and stressed the need for improvement.

“Well, I mean trying to do that every year, we emphasize it every day and every year ... I got to call better plays. We got to run the ball better in the red zone, our running game was horrific in the red zone. Wasn’t good wasn’t good. Maybe we ran it too much but it starts right there. We got to run the ball better in the red zone.”

The Raiders were a heavy run team inside the 20 with not the best results. Josh Jacobs led the league in carries(64), adding 11 touchdowns. However, the TD percentage compared to other RBs with 10 or more red zone TDs is not ideal.

Red zone TD%

  1. Kamara - 35%
  2. Chubb - 29%
  3. Henry - 22%
  4. Cook - 22%
  5. Jacob - 17%

It paints a picture of precisely why Gruden is frustrated. It’s even worse inside the five where Jacobs only scores on 28% of his carries. In comparison, Kamara finished with a 75% TD% inside the five.

Kenyan Drake can help in this area. He scored on 43% of his carries inside the five. The Raiders need all the help they can get to continue to pound the rock in the red zone.

In other Raiders’ links:

  • Letters from Raiders training camp: Tashan Reed of The Athletic gives an in-depth look at the training camp so far.
  • Tim Brown's new documentary: Tim Brown is dropping a documentary about the 10 players from Heisman to HOF.
  • Josh Jacobs talks receptions goals: Josh Jacobs speaks on no longer having reception goals going into 2021.