Last Monday night the Raiders secured the current longest win streak inside a division and ended the embarrassing 11-game losing streak in prime time games. After the Oakland Raiders week one victory on MNF one thing is certain: The Raiders are a run orientated team, both offensively and defensively.
As Richard Seymour said, “If you can’t stop the run, you aren’t going to be successful in this league.” The Raiders goal offensively is to pound the rock, then work play action to hopefully open up the offense. Defensively the Raiders will rely on their front four to control the line of scrimmage and mix in the occasional zone or blitz.
Last Monday night, the Raiders executed their game plan with perfection by rushing for 190 yards and giving up a league low 38. What was most impressive regarding the running attack was the four-minute drill to close out the game. It was not giving the Broncos the ball back that guaranteed victory. It was the Raiders ability to run successfully even though the opposing defense knew exactly what they were going to do. It was the first downs in those critical minutes that secured the win.
The credit goes to the offensive line and Michael Bush. Bush, with his powerful yet nimble running style, provided quality runs when they were needed the most. It was Bush’s ability put the nail in the coffin that makes the Raiders running attack one of the best in the league.
If you forgot or did not know, Bush sat out his rookie year recovering from broken leg, thus missing out of gaining a year of playing service. While other 2007 members of the Raiders draft class like Zach Miller hit free agency and got paid, he had to wait. This is Bush’s contract year. The Raiders know their success on offensive lies with the continual success of the rushing attack. They also know Taiwan Jones is at best a possible Darren Sproles and not another head to add to the two-headed dragon that imposes its will and finishes opponents off.
With every successful four-minute drill Bush completes this year the amount of guaranteed money in next contract soars. If the Raiders are to climb out of mediocrity and return to excellence, this is one member of the 2007 draft class the Raiders cannot afford to lose.