Run Over Again
Once again, the Raiders Defense has tread marks soiling their uniform from being run over by an opponent. The Texans were one of the worst teams in the NFL (ranked #30) going into this game in terms of their ability to run the ball. It was clear as day that after the Texans coaching staff reviewed film of the Raiders 1st 7 games that the offensive game plan was to run up, down, and through the Raiders defensive front 7. When Ron Dayne racks up 122 yards on 21 carries for almost 6 yards per carry, you know this defense has some major problems to rectify.
As a team, the Texans used a heavy dosage of run plays (39 attempts) to accrue 178 yards for 4.6 yards per carry. In the last 5 games, the Raiders defense has allowed an opponent's feature back to tally 100+ yards.
Game 8 vs. Texans: Ron Dayne (21 carries, 122 yards, long of 39)
Game 7 at Titans: Lendale White (25 carries, 133 yards, long of 27)
Game 6 vs. Chiefs: Larry Johnson (24 carries, 112 yards, long of 54)
Game 5 at Chargers: LT (24 carries, 198 yards, long of 41)
Game 4 at Dolphins: Ron Brown (15 carries, 134 yards, long of 60)
The Raiders are currently the 30th ranked team in defense against the run. The numbers are pitiful. Average yards allowed per game = 152.5; Average yards per carry = 5.1. Yikes!
The lack of depth on the DLine has reared it's ugly with DT Gerrard Warren missing his 4th consecutive game and Tommy Kelly out for the season. In this game vs. the Texans, DT Josh Shaw (#95 in your program) and DT/DE Tyler Brayton were used as the primary subs for Sapp and Sands. The fact that Josh Shaw was unable to make the 53 man roster during training camp is not a comforting thought for the remaining 8 games of the season. I had issues with Tyler Brayton even making this year's final squad based on his lack of production the last 3 years. The Raiders experimented (once again) with Brayton playing a new position, DT. At DT, Brayton is not big enough or strong enough at the point of attack.
It is quite obvious that one of the main priorities in the off season will be to bolster the run defense. It is absolutely paramount for the organization to identify & acquire a true SS for run support (slide Huff to FS), upgrade the SLB position, and most importantly, add quality talent on the DLine via the draft and free agency.