The Oakland Raiders played their biggest game of the season so far when they hosted the Denver Broncos this past Sunday night in a battle for first place in the AFC West.
In their biggest game Oakland played perhaps their best, coming away with a 30-20 victory to take over sole possession of first place in the division.
Many thought that with the Raiders high powered passing attack and the Broncos being without top cornerback Aqib Talib, that quarterback Derek Carr would have a big day through the air, but that did not end up being the case as the Raiders rushed for 219 yards in the game, compared to only 184 passing yards, and all three of the Raiders touchdowns came on the ground.
The Raiders offensive line was creating holes for their running backs all game, which led to the success on the ground. According to Michael Silver of NFL.com, offensive tackle Donald Penn said that in the second half they kept running the same play over and over again and the Broncos had no answer:
“In the second half, we only ran two (running) plays,” Penn revealed after the game. “We ran the same running play ten times in a row. We kept wearing them down with double teams. They knew it was coming. It didn’t matter. That’s when you take somebody’s will.”
Running back Latavuis Murray carried the ball 20 times in the game for 114 yards, and scored three times from one-yard out.
The Raiders offense was already dangerous enough with Carr and wide receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree firing on all cylinders, but now defenses will have an even tougher time against Oakland knowing that they are also capable of running the ball as effectively as they did against the Broncos, one of the best defenses in the league.