Stopping Fournette is something Raiders can’t forget

If the Oakland Raiders aren’t on point this Sunday, LF could say Alpha Mike Foxtrot (AMF) to the Silver & Black’s defense. And that’s something the hometown boys do not want to see in the last-ever home Raider game in Oakland.

LF would be Leonard Fournette, of course.
“Yeah, I mean everybody has one. I don’t know anybody that doesn’t have a back that doesn’t run hard,” Gruden said. “Fournette is a guy that is the centerpiece of their offense and we got to do a much better job on first down if we want to try and unleash some things on third down, that’s for sure.”

Centerpiece is right…

It’s been a bounce-back year for the third-year running back, despite the Jacksonville Jaguars’ overall downtrodden 2019 4-9 campaign. Healthy and available, the rocked up 6-foot, 228-pound former No. 4 overall pick out of LSU is rolling with 1,039 yards with three scores on the ground with 457 yards through the air.

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Fournette’s 235 total totes puts him No. 7 overall in terms of carries across the NFL. He’s a few ahead of the No. 8 carrier in the league, the Oakland Raiders own Josh Jacobs. The two young tailbacks are close in terms of overall rushing yards as Jacobs’ is 6th (despite missing a game) at 1,061 and Fournette is 8th.

If the Raiders run defense (ranked 15th in yards allowed — 1,404 — and 26th in TDs allowed — 13) can’t get to Fournette early and limit his effectiveness, it won’t be Paul Guenther’s defense unleashing squat, it will be the Jags running hog wild with their more-than-capable halfback.

Ranking No. 7 in the league with 50 first downs (Jacobs is right behind him with 49), the only statistical category Fournette is lacking in is touchdowns. Of the 10 ball carriers with over 200 totes this season, he’s one of two (Cincy’s Joe Mixon the other) that have a meager three TDs. The other eight average 7.7 scores.

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Despite that, Fournette averages a healthy and career-high 4.4 yards per carry and has only one fumble all year. Couple his rushing yards with what he’s done catching the ball and Fournette is No. 4 in the league with 1,496 total yards.

But if you ask Fournette, those stats are worthless considering the Jaguars overall mark.

″It means nothing, we’re not winning″ Fournette said after getting word he surpassed the 1K rushing mark after last Sunday’s loss. ″It’s tough. I’m not going to fake it with you. It means nothing to me right now.

“Don’t get me wrong, there are days that I am upset, mad as hell, but just trying to finish the season on a positive note. We just need more positive plays. It’s tough every week especially being on the losing streak we’re on right now.″

A productive runner who is angry … that’s something the Raiders will have to combat this Sunday in the final game at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum.

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