Latavius Murray cracked the 1,000-yard barrier during a productive first half Thursday night against the San Diego Chargers. He became the first Raiders rusher to reach four digits since 2010, just the fourth in the past decade.
It’s an important step for the young runner, to got there in his first full season as feature back. Murray leads the AFC in rushing, and has shown an penchant for breaking big plays after reaching the second level. While the Raiders need improved depth at running back, this season shows that Murray can play at the NFL level. He showed that again versus San Diego, bursting right off the edge for a 22-yard touchdown where he flashed breakaway speed.
Murray reached 1,000 yards a few snaps later.
“It's very special,” Murray said. “Obviously, it means a lot. It shows how we've been able to move the ball, especially this year. I'm pretty excited.”
The Raiders are excited that milestones like this are becoming commonplace. Rookie Amari Cooper cracked 1,000 receiving yards last week against Green Bay, and Michael Crabtree could follow suit with 112 yards in the regular-season finale against Kansas City.
Quarterback Derek Carr is 203 yards away from 4,000 passing yards and three touchdown passes from matching Daryle Lamonica’s franchise record for TDs throw in a single season.
The Raiders have never had a 4,000-yard passer, 1,000-yard rusher and a 1,000-yard receiver in the same season. The current efforts match something done in 2005, when Kerry Collins, Randy Moss and LaMont Jordan reached the 3,000-1,000-1,000 club.
It seems somewhat odd the offense is reaching solid statistical heights with scoring (22.8 ppg, 14th-ranked), yards (342.1 ypg, 23rd), passing (248.1 ypg, 13th) and rushing (93.9, 23rd) all in the middle or bottom of the pack. Some of the explosiveness has been sapped from the group as the season’s worn on, but this group of playmakers has a bright future and the big-play ability required of a modern offense.
This offense is still significantly better than the past few seasons, though improved consistency is required. The ability of these playmakers is clear through stats, though more important goals remain.
“We’ve done some great things statistically, which is cool and all that, but we just want to win,” Carr said. “Victories make me the happiest guy, not numbers. Those numbers are cool to see, because when you take a step back the reality is that (those milestones) haven't happened in a long time around here. ...When things like that happen it's all positivity and I'm all for it”