The Oakland Raiders stampeded the gridiron for a combined 147 yards on 31 carries. Together the backs averaged 4.7 yards per carry in their first preseason matchup against the Lions. These eye-popping stats don’t include the 60-yard touchdown run Marshawn Lynch had called back on the opening drive.
Let’s take a look at what each running back brought to the table during this great display of rugged Raider football.
Beastmode is back, and man did he look fast. His single rush on the opening drive was a vigorous 60-yard touchdown spurt— unfortunately, called back— but it definitely showed what he’s still capable of achieving. “That guy was really rollin’ man, it was good to see,” said Gruden, in the post-game conference.
The “Muscle Hamster” only had one shot at the ball against the Lions, tallying three-yards. I’m surprised he didn’t see more action due to the positivity surrounding him at camp, but considering his injury history it’s good to keep him fresh and healthy. I’ll be expecting to see him more in the games to come, he’s a promising potential hand-cuff to Marshawn Lynch.
D-Wash had himself a great night, racking up 38 yards on 6 carries. He’s a tough, physical back that has notable vision. His downhill running ability is strong and continues to improve in each game. Averaging 6.3 yards-per-carry against Detroit was significantly above his career average of 4.3 yards-per-carry, a huge step in the right direction if he’s on the bubble as the roster gets trimmed down.
Jalen Richard logged 13 yards on 5 carries, which might not seem to be much, but his third-down presence is exceptional. Richard made a larger impact in the receiving game as he racked up 35 yards on 4 receptions, catching every one of his targets. Richard is a phenomenal third-down safety blanket and I’m sure he will assume that role during the regular season.
Chris Warren III
Rookie Chris Warren III has been the buzz at training camp thus far, and we finally got a taste of his potential. Warren was by far the most accomplished back of the night as he acquired 86 yards on 13 carries, averaging 6.6 yards per touch. He looked composed, tough, and determined. The Raiders already feature four talented running backs ahead of Warren on the depth chart but if he doesn’t make the 53-man roster, he could very well end up on the team’s practice squad.
The Gruden Grinder is back, and it’s clear he’s bringing back a heightened sense of commitment to the run game. The diverse backfield is a weapon in itself and should work wonders for the 2018 Oakland Raiders offense. Get ready, Raider Nation, the gritty ground-and-pound attitude is back and ready to rumble.