Michael Bush, The Raiders Secret Weapon To A Winning Season

Yusuf HassanCorrespondent IAugust 12, 2010

The most important lesson that I learned in grammar school besides reading was that “Mathematics is the absolute science—numbers don’t lie, one plus one will always equal two."

But as an anti-authoritarian Leo child, I challenged the absoluteness of one plus one always equaling two.

My third grade theory was: if you add one color yellow, plus another color blue, combined they equal one color that is green. So sometimes one plus one equals one.

My theory marveled the majority of the class, except my teacher who defended the absoluteness of her absolute theory in the same manner, I assume, that most Pre- Colombian scholars defended the theory that the world was flat.

No student can ever exceed the knowledge of his/her teacher, or progress society beyond that which he/she was given—unless the student challenges the theories of his/her teacher, Yusuf Hassan. Now, enough of my philosophy and on to football.

In this article, I will use the “absolute science”—statistical mathematics to prove that the Raiders’ theory of starting Darren McFadden is an illogical theory for the Raiders success this year.

First of all, in 2009 McFadden averaged a meager 3.4 yards a rush—Bush, 4.8 yards a carry. At 6’1" 245 lbs., Bush is built to take 250 to 300 carries a season. McFadden, on the other hand, carries less weight and has been plagued by injuries and a fumbling problem since he arrived in Oakland.

In 2008, Michael Bush averaged 4.4 yards a carry; McFadden’s career average is sub-4 yards a carry.

Last year in Week 10, against division rival Kansas City, Bush averaged 8.5 yards a rush for a total of 119 rushing yards that day.

In Week 15 against the Denver Broncos, Bush had 18 attempts for 133 yards, which equates to 7.4 yards a rush. In addition, he rushed for a touchdown that day.

The next week, Week 16 against Cleveland, Bush averaged 5.2 yards a rush.

But the eye-popping stat is: when Bush ran to the left last year, behind Robert Gallery, he averaged 5.8 yards a carry. When he rushed wide left, in the same direction as Gallery, Bush averaged an astonishing 9.2 yards a carry.

Conversely, when Bush rushed to the right, behind the departed Cornell Green, he averaged a measly 3.5 yards a rush, and when he rushed wide right, again towards Green, he 3.3 yards a carry.

In the 2009 season, Bush averaged 6.1 yards a rush in the first quarter, 4.5 in the second quarter, and after a halftime rest, he averages 4.9 yards a carry in the third quarter. These stats indicate one thing: when Bush is fresh, his yards per carry is comparable with the top 10 running-backs in the NFL.

Against the AFC, Bush averaged 5.1 yards a carry, and against the AFC West, he averaged 5.9 yards a rush. In comparison Emmitt Smith averaged 4.2 yards a carried against his NFC East rivals, which is far lower than Bush’s 5.9 yards a carry last year against his division rivals in the AFC West.

So the key to my theory is: If the Raiders make the playoffs, Michael Bush will carry the ball at least 250 times, mostly towards the middle and left side.

Among the top five rushers in the league, only one—Chris Johnson—averaged more than 4.5 yards a rush. Hypothetical reasoning says, if Bush averages a modest 4.5, three-tenths lower than his average last season, on 250 carries he will rush for 1,125 years, which will make him a top 10 back in the NFL.  

In the past few weeks, it has been reported that Jared Veldheer has been practicing at center. Many columnists, fans, and critics question the reasoning behind this, because of Veldheer’s 6’8" height which would obscure Jason Campbell’s vision.

My theory is: Veldheer’s 6’8" height and power would obscure the vision of would-be tacklers as well. The power and size of Gallery and Veldheer would make for a formidable duo for the brawny 245 lb. back to run behind.

In the early 1990s, I watched many Dallas Cowboys games that showcased Emmitt Smith behind a massive offensive line. The entire stadium knew that Smith would get the ball; however, no team was able to stop it. That is the advantage of a power run game: regardless if the defense knows where the ball is going, if the defense is over-powered, the run goes for a positive.

In conclusion, with newly acquired quarterback Jason Campbell at the helm, the Raiders with a balanced running game—led by Michael Bush, will run over the AFC West and be the surprise team to make the playoffs.

Thoughts and opinions welcomed...