Raiders run game must help McGloin: 'We're up for the challenge'

Raiders run game must help McGloin: 'We're up for the challenge'

DENVER – The Raiders ran 43 times in their previous meeting with Denver. Left tackle Donald Penn estimates nearly half of those were the same play, with a back finding space between him and guard Kelechi Osemele. The Raiders kept running it because the Broncos knew the call and couldn’t stop it.

The Silver and Black rushed for 218 yards and three touchdowns in a dominant victory, totals they’d love to replicate in Sunday’s rematch. The Broncos are expecting a carbon copy, and should add numbers to their run defense. That seems especially likely given that Matt McGloin will start at quarterback for an injured Derek Carr against an all-world Broncos secondary comfortable in single coverage.

That could create favorable matchups downfield. As proven during the last meeting, head coach Jack Del Rio likes to run when the world knows what’s coming.

The Raiders have done that well, with a hulking offensive line and three running backs that churn out 124.3 yards per game. That’s fifth in the NFL. They’ve only finished below average five times, and have exceeded 130 yards in each of the last four games.

The Raiders are capable of being bullies up front and playing old school football if it’s required to win or create better matchups in the passing game. The ground attack would become McGloin’s best friend if he shouldered a significant load on Sunday afternoon in Denver.

“I’m not sure how defenses want to look at us with Matt in there, but we need to run the ball well regardless of who is taking the snaps,” running back Latavius Murray said. “We’re going to continue to get better there and need to be better now more than ever.

"If we can be the spark to this offense, the sky's the limit. We want the ball in our hands. We're up for the challenge.”

Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave wants to stay balanced on offense, but running well and often would take some pressure off McGloin, making the sudden transition from Carr to his backup a bit easier.

“I think everyone’s taking a little more on their shoulders because Derek went down,” running back DeAndre Washington said. “He’s a vital leader of this team. He’s the MVP of this team. When someone like that goes down, everybody else needs to step up.”

The Raiders have three attack dogs that want to get the ground game going early against Denver. Murray leads the pack and has 12 touchdowns, but rookie Jalen Richard and Washington have been valued contributors who take yards in chunks. In fact, Richard and Washington have an equal number of carries average a combine 5.7 yards per carry.

Washington took control last week against Indianapolis, 99 yards and his first two professional touchdowns on just 12 carries.

That was a positive sign for Washington, who was a healthy scratch in Weeks 11-12 and didn’t have a carry in Week 13. He wasn’t inactive due to performance. He lost a numbers game, with the Raiders filling in for injured defensive backs.

“A couple of guys talked to me. I was a little down,” Washington said. “They told me it’s a long season. It’s like I said, you never know when you’re going to be needed. Today we were all needed as a group. I’m glad we had good success running the ball (against Indianapolis).”

Raiders 2018 offseason scoreboard


Raiders 2018 offseason scoreboard


Veteran additions
WR Jordy Nelson (cut by Green Bay): 2 years/$15 million, $13 million guaranteed
CB Rashaan Melvin (UFA; Indianapolis): 1 year/$6.5 million
LB Tahir Whitehead (UFA; Detroit): 3 years/$18 million, $9 million guaranteed)
S Marcus Gilchrist (UFA; Houston): 1 year
RB Doug Martin (cut by Tampa Bay): 1 year
FB Keith Smith (UFA; Dallas): 2 years/$4.2 million
TE Derek Carrier (UFA; L.A. Rams): 3 years/$7 million
DE Tank Carradine (UFA; San Francisco): 1 year
LB Kyle Wilbur (UFA; Dallas): 2 years/$3.25 million
LS Andrew DePaola (UFA; Chicago): 4 years/$4.27 million
WR Griff Whalen (but by Baltimore)

Re-signed/extensions/contract tenders offered
DT Justin Ellis (UFA): 3 years/$15 million; $6 million guaranteed)
TE Lee Smith (UFA): 3 years
K Giorgio Tavecchio (ERFA): 1 year/$555,000
DE/LB Shilique Calhoun (ERFA): 1 year/630,000
S Erik Harris (ERFA)
DE James Cowser (ERFA)
OL Denver Krikland (ERFA)

CB Sean Smith (released)
CB David Amerson (released; Kansas City)
RT Marshall Newhouse (released)
LB Aldon Smith (released)
WR Michael Crabtree (released; Baltimore)
DL Denico Autry (UFA; Indianapolis)
CB TJ Carrie (UFA; Cleveland)

S Reggie Nelson (UFA)
K Sebastian Janikowski (UFA)
LB NaVorro Bowman (UFA)
LS Jon Condo (UFA)
QB EJ Manuel (UFA)
S Keith McGill (UFA)

UFA-Unrestricted free agent: Free to sign with any team
ERFA-Exclusive rights free agent: Player has no outside negotiating power

NOTE: Contract figures obtained by, league sources, NFLPA sources or

* * *

1. First round:
No. 10 overall
2. Second round:No. 41 overall
3. Third round: No. 75 overall
4. Fourth round: No. 110 overall
5. Sixth round: No. 185 overall
6. Sixth round: No. 192 overall
7. Sixth round: No. 210 overall*
8. Sixth round: No. 212 overall*
9. Sixth round: No. 216 overall*
10. Sixth round: No. 217 overall*
11. Seventh round: No. 228 overall
* compensatory pick

Reports: Marshawn Lynch to remain with Raiders in 2018


Reports: Marshawn Lynch to remain with Raiders in 2018

The Raiders signed veteran running back Doug Martin on Thursday, prompting many to believe the move meant the end of Marshawn Lynch's time in Oakland.

But as it has been expected, Martin is just another piece to go along with Lynch in the Raiders' backfield. According to multiple national reports, Lynch will remain in Silver and Black this upcoming season. 

The news will become official when the Raiders pay Lynch his $1 million roster bonus on Sunday. 

“One of the reasons I’m excited to be with the Raiders is to join forces with Lynch. We’ll see what happens," Jon Gruden told Insider Scott Bair at the NFL Scouting Combine. “We have to take a look at the entire roster, but I’m counting on him. I’m counting on him being a big part of this football team.”

Lynch, 31, rushed for 891 yards, averaging 4.3 yards per carry, and scored seven touchdowns for the Raiders in 2017.