The Oakland Raiders have met the call these past few weeks. After defeating the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football, they pulled off a comeback against the Houston Texans in Mexico City on Monday Night Football. Now thinking ahead, the coaching staff, including offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, has a plan in store for the Carolina Panthers.
The matchup against the Panthers will be must-see television on both ends. The hard-hitting Panthers’ defense will attempt to get after Derek Carr, while the Raiders’ defense will attempt to keep Cam Newton and the rushing attack in check.
For the offense, consistency has been key. Carr has never favored one receiver over the other, but rather goes to what each scenario gives him. The offense of the Raiders continues to evolve, as more weapons keep displaying results as each game progresses.
Musgrave commented on the emergence of the running backs and how it should be the key factor going against the Panthers, via Raiders.com:
“It helps us when we can put a plan together, and hopefully isolate some defensive shortcomings, or maybe some matchups that are heavily in our favor. The running backs do a nice job of executing the plan. It’s one thing to put a plan together, it’s another thing entirely for the players to go out and execute it, take it to that elite level; very thankful for our group, our stable of running backs.”
The running backs are eager to get back on the field, after being contained somewhat against the Texans. The team combined for 30 total net rushing yards. On 11 attempts, Latavius Murray collected 33 yards, while Jalen Richard got only two yards on three attempts.
Including the negative rushes, the Raiders were unable to get any consistent holes in the rushing game. Facing off against the Panthers this week, the emergence of the rushing attack can help ease Carr’s load.
Continuing on the note about the running backs, Musgrave stated how Richard’s evolution has helped the outlook of the running backs:
“He’s just a terrific young man. On the field, he’s great. On the sideline, really good with adjustments, staying positive when we experience the ebb, rather than the flow, of a football game. He’s terrific all-around, taking about Jalen [Richard].”
Entering Week 12, the Raiders have the ninth ranked rushing offense, averaging 118 rushing yards per game. To the contrary, the Panthers are allowing the second lowest rushing numbers (81.8 yards per game).
As Musgrave stated, in order for the Raiders to succeed, the running backs need to be active on the floor and also through the passing attack.