We just talked about the 49ers ground game and I think it is probably apparent to anyone that has followed these teams that getting the running game is key to having a productive offense.
The 49ers have been better on run D than they have on pass D. They are 10th in yards allowed per attempt at 3.9. Overall their run D is 14th in DVOA ranking.
In the Raiders-49ers preseason game, the Raiders struggled on the ground averaging only 2.9 yards per carry on 19 carries, but then again the Raiders run game looked horrible all preseason.
The Raiders have been very solid and consistent on the year running the football. They are averaging 4.4 yards per carry. Their offensive line is ranked 8th by FO in run blocking and overall their run game is ranked 16th in DVOA.
Adding to this, the Raiders look to be as close to having their full assortment of ground game weapons as they have had all year. RB Darren McFadden was limited in practice on Wednesday and will likely be a game time decision. While it would be a luxury to have both backs at their disposal it is not a necessity for success.
Both RBs have shown they have what it takes to be the lead back and while they get their results with different styles those results are very similar. McFadden currently averages 4.6 yards per carry and Michael Bush averages 4.4 yards per carry.
Maybe even more importantly, LG Robert Gallery is back at practice and he has said he expects to start on Sunday. Gallery has been out since halfway through the Week 1 contest. Gallery is the Raiders' best lineman and he can be a punishing guard when run blocking.
The Raiders like to run between the guards and while G Daniel Loper has filled in admirably for Gallery, he was in no way going to be confused for him.
The team that wins the battle of the run games, will likely be the team that wins the game. I expect both teams to come out and exert their will in this area early and often. While the Raiders certainly have been better than their crosstown rivals running the ball this year, they have been a lot worse at defending it.
Check back to see what you can expect the 49ers to try and do stopping the run.