Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 10/4/12
During the first three weeks of the 2012 regular season, the Oakland Raiders have had serious issues on offense. From third down conversions, to the running game, to scoring touchdowns in the red zone, Oakland has struggled in many areas. With the team on a bye this week, they will try to find the answers.

“Real good self–evaluation on scheme,” Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Knapp said. “We, so far, have shown to the offensive players our studies on our run game, on our third downs, and our red zone. “The biggest thing we really felt like after reflecting that was that our third down has really got to get better. That’s where we’ve struggled the most and we haven’t helped the team out because we have been getting off the field way too quickly.”

The most crucial evaluation must come on continuing drives with third down conversions. This season the Raiders are 14 of 51 on third down, good for a 27 percent success rate. In the team's only victory this season against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Raiders converted 7 of 12 third downs, meaning in the three losses they are 7 of 39, which is less than an 18 percent conversion rate.

Another area the Raiders will focus their attention is the running game. They have one of the best offensive weapons in the NFL in running back Darren McFadden. However, the team is last in the NFL in rushing this season, averaging just 60 yards per game. McFadden has just 201 rushing yards on 57 attempts in four games this season. His sole touchdown came on a 64 yard run against the Steelers. Because they have trailed in every game this season, Oakland has relied on the passing game to move the ball.

“Being a little bit more efficient in the pass game and just keep coming along with the run game,” Knapp said. “We did actually have a more efficient game this last week in the run game, we just didn’t have any break out runs, but we did have more consistency in the fours and fives and less negative yard runs, so that was good improvement for us.”

The Raiders have driven into the red zone 11 times this season. Of the 11 trips, four have resulted in touchdowns and six have resulted in field goals. They need to beef up their touchdown percentage despite doing a good job of getting points inside the red zone. All of the red zone touchdowns have been passing scores by quarterback Carson Palmer. With all the difficulty the team has had on defense, Oakland must capitalize on their red zone opportunities with seven points.

 



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