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Published on 10/21/2010 at Thu Oct 21 10:04.
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Raiders Running Backs Football

Judging from the film, it looks like Sunday's game in Denver could turn into a run-dominated match. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Every week, teams meet on Monday and talk about Sunday’s game, watch film on the game, and talk about what they did right and wrong. They then come back on Tuesday and watch film of the upcoming opponent and continue to break down film the whole week leading up to the game, trying to decipher the best game plan for each opponent on a week-to-week basis.

Similarly, in BT’s Film Room, I’ll watch film on the Broncos upcoming foe week-to-week and give you my thoughts on what to watch for on Sunday. This week: Raiders edition.

The Raiders have the 3rd worst run defense in the NFL, surrendering nearly 150 yards a game to opponents. Broncos’ quarterback Kyle Orton in a press conference Wednesday speculated that because the Raiders often play press,  man coverage, the running game is opened up.

“I think their secondary is so good, a lot of teams just say ‘okay, our best chance is to run against you [Oakland]’, and they get a lot of runs against them,” said Orton before adding, “When you play man coverage, if the running back can get through the hole, he’s only got to make one guy miss, [and] guys have been able to do that a little bit.”

Thus, one of the best ways the Broncos offense can have success against the Raiders would be to establish a running game. Last week, the 49ers’ Frank Gore rushed for 149 yards against the Raiders defense.

Just in time to face Oakland, the Broncos running game has gotten back on track. After the jump is a small sample of what the Broncos offensive line and running backs have to look forward to:

As you see, Frank Gore let his blockers do the work, exercised some patience, then made one guy miss. The result? 65 yards.

Second year Running Back Knowshon Moreno looked good last week and could be a big offensive weapon for the Broncos this week.

The stats can be deceiving through, as Orton also noted the Raiders play a tough, rough defense and have played some pretty good rushing teams this season.

On to the other side of the ball.

The Raiders currently – literally – don’t have a starting quarterback, so it’s obvious the Broncos main concern on defense will be controlling the Raider’s running attack. Oakland’s Darren McFadden has be hampered by a hamstring injury and is questionable for Sunday’s game. If he is ready to go, the Broncos defense better be prepared. Through the first four games of the season, McFadden averaged 4.6 yards a carry, gaining 392 yards on the ground and 162 yards receiving, with two scores.

If Darren can’t go, Michael Bush will most likely handle the load at running back. Over the past three weeks, Bush has rushed for 191 yards and two touchdowns.

Either way, McFadden, Bush, or both, the Broncos biggest task will be to contain the running game, something Oakland’s opponents haven’t done a great job of.

From the film, I speculate there will be a lot of runs at Mile High this week. The Broncos haven’t abandoned the run game, and if the Broncos can get a steady distance ahead of Oakland, they’ll want to run the clock out, which could lead to some big rushing numbers. On the flip side, the Raiders are a running team and they can’t beat the Broncos by airing it out.

Are your ready for some old-style run up the gut football? I sure am, I think this is the week the Broncos can really get the running game going, while still make good use of their potent passing attack. Bring it, Oakland.

  • jettdogg27

    Nice work Jon! One thing that I've noticed is that the Broncos have been doing a nice job of having their OLB's setting the edge and then keeping their contain inside. I really like the pick up of Jason Hunter as he's young and has been playing very well and has limited the damage from the losses of Ayers and Dumervil. If they can keep that up against the Raiders, the Raiders are in trouble.

  • Jon

    Thanks jettdogg27, I agree Hunter has looked really solid – he's impressed me.

  • Ian Henson

    Great read Jon. I agree with your points in regards to Oakland's running game.

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  • 5280 rich

    i really think tebow can play a huge role for denver in this game. if he can establish at least 4-5 yard a carry by himself then we could have a solid game on the ground, but they have to pass it with him a lil bit to so that the d stays off balance. if not, tebow becomes predictable. by doing this effectively, the other running back could find some pretty big hole because of an off balance oakland D