The Oakland Raiders continued their dominance on the road this season with their 33-16 victory on Sunday over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Head coach Jack Del Rio implemented a strong game plan, which they executed in Del Rio’s return to his old stomping grounds.
Del Rio coached the Jaguars for nine seasons, creating quite the bond in the Florida area. The head coach stated that his homecoming shouldn’t be the main focus, as it was up to the players on the roster to make it about the Raiders.
The Raiders succeed in many facets, but were boosted by the return of a key offensive player. Running back Latavius Murray, who had been battling a turf toe injury, returned for his first action in three weeks.
For the game, Murray collected 59 yards on 18 rushing attempts, with two touchdowns to sandwich the entire contest.
After three total field goals to begin the first quarter, the Raiders went on a long drive, concluded by a Murray two-yard touchdown run. That was the first touchdown he has seen in quite some time, stemming back to Sept. 25 against the Tennessee Titans.
Murray was happy with his progress, but stated the ultimate pleasure came in the impressive victory, via Raiders.com:
“You knew it was going to be a grind. We did what we had to do. I felt really good being able to just be out there and play again. Just happy that I’m back. Most importantly, happy we got the win.”
Murray carried the load for the running backs, as his 18 rushes outnumbered the rest of the roster. The 26-year-old credited the offensive line for continually creating holes to him to push through.
Now that Murray has returned to the Raiders, their future opponents must plan ahead for everything the illusive running back brings to the game.
Murray addressed that scenario and stated it is on him to prepare his own scouting reports to stay ahead of his opponent:
“I felt good. I think now, it’s going to be a matter of continuing to keep myself ahead of the game, take care of my body and just do what I’ve been doing.”
Murray wasn’t shy in stating his desire moving forward, wanting the ball as many times as he can get it. The holes the offensive line created eased Murray’s transition back into the game, as he said it was comforting to see.
The reemergence of Murray created many problems for the Jaguars on defense. The running game complemented the passing game beautifully, which created many openings for the deep passes Carr connected on.
The organization is now 4-0 on the road this season, a telling sign of a successful team. The Raiders remain atop the AFC West with their Week 7 win, waiting for the Denver Broncos game on Monday to learn if they have sole possession of the division lead.