The Oakland Raiders have an atrocious offensive line, and there isn’t much that a bye week is going to do to fix that in Week 5. QB Carson Palmer has already been sacked seven times this year, and he has been in the face of a ton of pressure. However, what would really ease the pressure from the former USC Trojan is if the rushing game really found a way to become front and center again for a team that badly needs to use its attitude to win games.
The reason that many made their Super Bowl NFL picks on the Raiders this year was because Palmer had a full offseason of work and RB Darren McFadden was healthy once again. Unfortunately for Run DMC, he has averaged just 3.5 yards per carry, has just 201 total yards on the ground, and has just one trip to the end zone to show for his work on the campaign.
Take away a 64-yard run in Week 2, and McFadden would be averaging just 2.45 yards per carry, numbers that would make even Chris Johnson blush at the moment.
The one thing that we will say about McFadden is that he is chipping in as a receiver as well, just as he did at Arkansas. He leads the team with 18 receptions and is fourth on the squad with 111 yards. Still, all told, McFadden has just one play of 20 yards or greater this year, and that isn’t going to cut it.
The offensive line needs to figure out how to pave some more blocks for McFadden to run through, and that might mean more work for the tight ends and fullbacks as blockers as well.
If Oakland doesn’t figure out this ground game soon, it is going to be on its way to a long season in the AFC West.