It’s not often that an offensive line takes center stage in the NFL, but circumstances thrust the Raiders’ blockers front and center leading up to Sunday’s game at Cleveland. And they came through in a big way, collectively playing the starring role in a crucial, 16-6 victory that significant enhanced Las Vegas’ playoff odds.
It wasn’t necessarily pretty or captivating, but the game was won in the trenches as the Raiders pummeled Cleveland on the ground to the tune of 208 rushing yards. Las Vegas converted 15 first downs via the running game while amassing a nearly 2-to-1 advantage in time of possession.
Coach Jon Gruden credited the offensive line and the ground game for powering Vegas to the win.
“We ran the ball a lot of different ways,” Gruden said. “From a single-back set, from a two-back set, double tight end set. Derek Carr even got involved. It was a great job of protecting the football and running the ball and possessing the ball, which was a key ingredient in winning.”
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