This upcoming contest between the Raiders and Steelers features an intriguing strength against strength matchup as you can find this NFL season when the Raiders bring their high powered running game against the Steelers dominating rush defense.
The Steelers are first in most every important rush defense number and the Raiders are top three in almost every important rushing stat. The Raiders build their offense of the run. 50.1 percent of their plays are runs. This is the third highest number in the league. Steelers’ opponents are only running the ball in 35.2 percent of their plays. This is the lowest frequency in the league.
Will the Raiders stay with their run heavy approach or will they try and use the pass to open things up. When the Raiders do run, it looks like they may have an advantage in one area and that is to the outside of the offensive left.
Since the return of Robert Gallery and the starting of Jared Veldheer, this is an area the Raiders have been explosive. It is also the weakest area of the Steelers rush defense.
On the year, they are ranked 21st on runs to outside the offensive left at 4.4 yards per carry. The Raiders are 3rd in the NFL at 5.2 yards per carry to that same area.
Another way this matchup is great is Darren McFadden. He is explosive once he gets to the second level. This is an area where the Steelers shut down RBs. The Steelers run defense gets better as you go back, which is the exact opposite of the Raiders. The Steelers DVOA is 4th in runs stuffed, 2nd in the 2nd level and 1st in the open field.