The Oakland Raiders have assembled a formidable roster entering Week 7 of the National Football League. Sitting atop the AFC West with the Denver Broncos, head coach Jack Del Rio and offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave have formed a top-notch offense.
While the defense has underperformed tremendously, the unit has been able to force turnovers to bail themselves out of some close contests. The Week 6 divisional loss to the Kansas City Chiefs was deserved, as opposing head coach Andy Reid and his staff executed their game plan to perfection.
The Raiders have faced their fair share of injuries and have had to overcome them with the next man up. Players have been lost for the season, while the offensive line is suffering from injuries in anticipation of some returns.
A key area to watch going into Week 7 is the core of running backs. Latavius Murray is still battling his turf toe injury, but is steadily making progress. He has yet to be ruled out for Week 7, but the offense is pondering all possibilities regarding the running backs.
Musgrave commented on the lack of opportunities presented during Week 7 and stated that some backs weren’t used to their capabilities, via Raiders.com:
“I’d say there are a lot of guys that we left unused. Not good.”
The offense was shut out in the second half of the game, with the unit unable to form many drives. Musgrave pointed out the lack of opportunities and stated they need more production moving forward.
Musgrave and the offense have a chance to rebound nicely, battling the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 7. He pointed out the scenario regarding the running back entering Week 7, with optimism on the end of Murray:
“Well Latavius has his own skill set. Had some explosive runs for us last year, so we’ll look forward to getting him back at some point and hopefully it is this week. The other two young guys (Washington and Richard) and Maze are all doing their part.”
The Raiders will have to set up the running game in order for Derek Carr to get some open passing lanes.
Musgrave and Del Rio have quite the relationship, which stems back to their days with the Jaguars. While Del Rio was the head coach of the Jaguars, Musgrave also resided on his staff and the pair has formed a strong bond.