The Oakland Raiders enter Week 9 coming off two consecutive victories against the Jacksonville Jaguars and division foe Kansas City Chiefs. After a 1-4 start, the Raiders' chances in the AFC West were beginning to fade away. Now, at 3-4 and tied for second place with the San Diego Chargers, the Raiders are one game behind the Denver Broncos for first place.
The key to success for the Raiders over the last couple of weeks has been the ability to put pressure on the opposing quarterbacks and the running game. The running game is on the shoulders of Darren McFadden, who is coming off his second 100-yard game of the season as he carried the ball 29 times for 114 yards in the Raiders 26-16 victory over the Chiefs McFadden also contributed four receptions for 23 yards.
The good sign for the Raiders is that most of McFadden’s damage came in the second half. It is important for McFadden to be successful in the second half of football games so the Raiders will be able to kill clock and put teams away.
Heading into Week 8, McFadden was struggling to get anything going, but he came to life in Kansas City.Number 20 is the most talented player on the Raiders' offense and for Coach Dennis Allen’s team to have any chance at the AFC West crown, It is imperative that McFadden builds off of his Week 8 performance.
This Sunday, the Raiders take on the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have been solid against the opposing running backs giving up just 85 yards per game. This should not affect the Raiders' game plan, as the offense must revolve around McFadden.
The Buccaneers rank 31st in the league, however, giving up 310 yards per game through the air. Quarterback Carson Palmer can pick apart the Tampa Bay defense, creating plenty of room for McFadden to run.