The Raiders got blown out by the Dolphins on Sunday and one of the biggest reasons why was their total inability to run the ball in the second half.
Oakland took a 10-7 lead into the third quarter, but they ran for -1 yard on six carries in the second half. As the Dolphins began to pull away to a 35-13 win, abandoning the run made sense. But their lack of success earlier in the half and minimal success in the first half came well before there was a need to change approaches.
This wasn’t what anyone expected to see with a healthy Darren McFadden in the lineup and much blame has been pointed at the shift to a zone blocking scheme under new offensive coordinator Greg Knapp. Some people believe that McFadden is a bad fit with such a style, an assertion that’s gained credence in the first two weeks of the season. McFadden isn’t on board with that notion, however.
“I’m very comfortable in this scheme,” McFadden said, via Paul Gutierrez of CSNBayArea.com. “I just feel like we have to get going. Like I say, you hit one or two runs here, three-yard runs here, and eventually it’s going to start popping.”
Almost any change in schemes is going to have a transition period where things don’t work out as hoped. The Raiders’ best-case scenario right now is that McFadden is right and that they are in the midst of such a rough patch. If these struggles don’t start turning into successes, it’s going to be a long season for McFadden and the entire Raiders rushing game.