Sep 15, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden (20) is pursued by Jacksonville Jaguars safety Johnathan Cyprien (37) on a 30-yard gain in the third quarter at Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Jaguars 19-9. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders' rushing attack to face first big test

The Oakland Raiders have had a positive start to the season thus far.  With a 1-1 record, a dynamic young quarter back, and a rushing offense that ranks second in the NFL at 198.5 yards per game, the positivity is abundant.  But, this week’s game against the Denver Broncos figures to be the measuring stick for the silver and black.

Denver has the best rushing defense – through two games – in the NFL, giving up just 40.5 yards per contest, albeit against the league’s 23rd (Baltimore) and 32nd (New York Giants) ranked rushing attacks.

While Oakland has looked impressive at times through the ground game, the teams they have played – Indianapolis and Jacksonville – rank 29th and 31st , respectively, against the run.

Something has to give.

Raiders’ running back Darren McFadden welcomes the challenge, “We’re a run-first team, and we’re not going to change that,” McFadden told’s Scott Bair. “It’s all about commitment because our running game takes some work. We hit some short runs and all of a sudden, we break out a couple big ones that can change the game.”

McFadden (36 rushes-177 yards)  and quarterback Terrelle Pryor (22 for 162) will have their first big test this week – and if the plan is to keep it on the ground against the Broncos stout run defense, we might soon find out where the Raiders stand in their progress towards relevancy in the AFC.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Darren McFadden Denver Broncos NFL Oakland Raiders Terrelle Pryor

  • Raider Grant

    Raiders under dogs once again, but always play above par against the Donkeys! I wonder why league never punished Manning for having skirted USA laws to have his surgery??? Guarantee NFL would have suspended an elite Raider player should they have done so! It will eventually become an issue, but not until their poster boy gets another ring! Go Raiders, lay wood on that cheater!

  • AF AF AF

    One big hit on Manning and the donkeys with crumble. They dont have a back up QB.

    • Bob

      They have OssWeiper..,

      • Miles

        Don’t you mean Asswiper? lol

  • Chris Schroeder

    Nice read. Heres the thing though. The raiders are a run first team no question, but at the same time the Broncos are a run stopping team. In order the be the best you’ve got to beat the best, and in order to do that in the NFL you’ve got to play smarter, more physical football as well as mix up the play calling. Don’t give them what they will expect, give them what they’ll never see coming. An example would be, Terrel Pryor fakes the handoff to McFadden and scrambles for about 10 seconds like he normally does looking for an outside edge to break through for a big gain, meanwhile the Broncos bring the corners and safeties in because they need to protect against the possibility of a big run exposing the backfield, BOOM!!! There goes the big 70 yard pass down field to Dearious Moore, that nobody thought was possible since it hasn’t happened yet this season. I expect there to be a lot of passing and running mixed up very well and I expect the Raiders to get all of their offense involved so that the Broncos are always off-guard. And just wanted to expect a big pass play again, the drop back into coverage, and BOOM!!! There goes Pryor for a 30 yard run, or Dmac up the middle for a big gain. I expect the Broncos to be confused for most of the game Monday on their offense and defense. The Raiders understand that’s what they have to do to beat the Broncos and that’s what they will do. They will pull out all the cards on this one.