Editor's note: Insider Scott Bair is in London with the Raiders. Stay logged on to CSNBayArea.com all week for comprehensive coverage of the Silver and Black
BAGSHOT, England – The Raiders hope to be a physical, run-centric offense that pushes people around, stays on schedule and accents a strong ground game through the air.
That hasn’t happened yet. While the first two games got out of hand early and forced the Raiders to throw often, the recent loss to New England was close enough that the Raiders were able to run their offense according to plan.
The results weren’t sterling. The Raiders gained just 67 yards on 22 carries against New England, which averages out to 3.0 yards per carry. Watching film was particularly aggravating to those involved in the run game.
The Raiders believe they’re close to running well. They’re not quite there yet.
“It makes you sick when you watch the film,” left tackle Donald Penn said. “There are little breakdowns here and there that really mess us up and keeping us from turning standard runs into something big.
"Once we get those things fixed, you’ll start to see us break some. We’re close, but close gets you 65 yards a game. Considering the talent we have here, that’s not good enough. We have to find a way to give the run game a boost.”
The Raiders main problem is consistency. They’ve shown occasional breakdowns in each area, from the line to the backs. If the Raiders get it together, they believe they can produce big runs.
Head coach Dennis Allen has scoured the tape and has told the team everyone must step up to make the ground game work.
“The runners are going to have to be able to make people miss and be able to break one,” Allen said. “We’ve got to be assignment-perfect up front, as far as getting on blocks and sustaining our blocks just a little bit longer. That’s really the difference when you get back and work at it. When you run the ball effectively, the margin for error is not very big and we’re pretty close.”