Raiders Boast Heaviest O-Line In Football But Strangely Emphasize A Finesse Blocking Scheme

The 2017 season has been one to forget in Oakland. The city lost it’s team to Las Vegas and even more surprisingly, they lost their offense to… coaching?

One of the more perplexing adjustments the Raiders made in the absence of Bill Musgrave has been a shift in philosophy – particularly in terms of their running game.

The Raiders ranked sixth in the NFL in rushing in 2016. In 2017, they upgraded at running back and with two weeks remaining in the season, the Raiders own the 25th-ranked rushing offense in the NFL.

How, with the addition of Marshawn Lynch, have the Raiders become worse at running the football?

Could it have something to do with the fact that the Raiders have asked the heaviest offensive line in the NFL to move away from power blocking schemes?

Under Todd Downing the Raiders are on pace to run 141 outside zone runs in 2017 compared to just 64 with Musgrave a year ago.

This year, Raider running backs are averaging 3.71 yards-per-carry on outside zone runs compared to a whopping 4.57 yards-per-carry on all other halfback runs.

For what it’s worth, nothing about the 2016 season should have suggested the Raiders would have success with more outside zone runs. Last year, the Raiders averaged just 2.79 yards-per-carry on outside zone runs.

Considering the size and strength of the Raiders offensive line, it’s a mystery why the Raiders would have chosen to incorporate more finesse (and timing) into their game plan.

Certainly the shift is not the singular explanation for why the Raiders have been so ineffective on offense this season, but it’s certainly been a factor and if nothing else, it makes you wonder…

What else has the coaching staff been tinkering with to sink the offense to the depths they have reached this season?

twitter: @raidersbeat

*stats via ProFootballFocus, with credit to @AustinGayle_PFF


9 thoughts on “Raiders Boast Heaviest O-Line In Football But Strangely Emphasize A Finesse Blocking Scheme

  1. This one’s easy, FIRE Todd Downing without hesitation! The boy simply doesn’t know what he’s doing. There are high school coaches who can design a more effective offense than this clown. Del Rio knows without a doubt he fucked up letting Musgrave walk when all that was needed was to work out differences after the Texans playoff game. He stated he was upset because they didn’t run the ball in that game yet he promotes Downing who has no clue how to design a power running game much less design receiver routes that are so basic opposing defences easily read & cover.
    If Del Rio values his job, do the smart thing and hire an experienced play caller who use the power straight ahead running that works! Any fool can see this, hopefully Del Rio can.

    1. Unfortunately, Del Rio has shown himself to be just as incompetent and foolish. We may be on the hook for 2 more years. I say we fire Del Rio. Promote Pagano to HC. Hire a proven HC and OC.

  2. cant jack needs to hire a strong offensive coordinator or we just wasted money on an extension and we need to fire and get the right coaching staff for this team but i do like pagano as defensive coordinator.. should force an offensive coordinator on him don’t let him get in the way of the offense.

  3. If Hue Jackson becomes available, he would fix the offense and the QB. Let Pagano run the defense next year. We should draft a run stopping DT like dude from Univ. of Washington 1st round. We still need an OT, CB, ILB, and sped receiver.

  4. I do understand that Del Rio is a problem but he’s been extended so there’s no way Mark Davis is going to fire him now. However, if he continues the bonehead decisions he will get fired! Hue Jackson would employ a solid offensive philosophy, power running game, play action passing and correct Carr’s bad tendency’s. Remember, Mark Davis doesn’t have the kind of money as other owners!

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