The Oakland Raiders have had a lot of ups and downs this season, but one of the most consistent themes this season has been their struggleto find success in the run game. Despite having a break out season in 2011, Darren McFadden has gone from one of the best running backs in the NFL into a guy who will be lucky to hit the 1,000 yard mark this year. Now, after McFadden and his back up, Mike Goodson were injured in the heart breaking loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Raiders will look to third string back up, Taiwan Jones.
Jones is an undersized back with oversized speed that was drafted by the Raiders out of division two Eastern Washington State. Despite receiving sparse playing time his first couple of years in the league, Jones has shown that his speed makes him capable of being an impact player in the NFL. On a team full of speed demons, Jones was the fastest on the Raiders from his very first day. Now, after sitting behind McFadden and learning the NFL game, the Raiders hope Jones has learned how to best use his speed at the next level.
The Raiders will have a difficult time containing Ray Rice and the Ravens offense and will need every last bit of offensive help they can get in order to stay in the game. The Raiders showed that their defense has a long way to go before being good when they were torn apart by Doug Martin last weekend. While Carson Palmer has had a good statistical season, he is still prone to making big mistakes at big moments and finding success in the run game is the best way to help Palmer.