The Oakland Raiders came as close as I’ve seen to having a perfectly balanced offense in their win over the New York Jets on Sunday.
You often hear discussions regarding offensive football strategy that focus on the balance between run plays and passing plays. There are some who believe in a run first offense, that will rely heavily on the run game and less on the passing game. Then there are the teams who pass to run, focusing primarily on the passing attack in order to open up opportunities in the run game.
But there’s another school of thought as well, the idea of pursuing balance in your offensive attack and that’s exactly what the Oakland Raiders achieved on Sunday.
The Raiders threw the ball 28 times and ran the ball 27 times. Each part of the offense was responsible for three touchdowns and the total yardage difference between the two was only 50 yards as the passing game put up 230 yards and the run game put up 180 yards.
That kind of equally balanced offense is damn near impossible to achieve. Most teams will go with a run first or pass first offense because it’s what suits their personnel. It’s a rarity that you have the personnel to be a dominant force in the run game and the passing game, but that’s exactly what the Raiders are.
There is a lot of time and attention paid to the Raiders passing game and with good cause. Derek Carr picked up where he left off last season and is once again playing at an elite level. And his pass catchers? Probably one of if not the best group in the league with Jared Cook, Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, Seth Roberts, Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington and Marshawn Lynch all available to snag passes from Carr. There’s a reason Carr is known for spreading the ball around (he completed passes to ten different players on Sunday) and it’s based in the fact that he has so many weapons he can pick and choose based on matchups rather than who he trusts on his offense.
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