ALAMEDA — The Raiders’ running backs need a pick-me-up.

There’s no better cure for a run game than the Los Angeles Chargers’ run defense.

Sunday’s matchup comes at a perfect time for Oakland’s backs, who are coming off a much improved performance from the two weeks prior. Against Washington and Denver combined, the Raiders rushed for 56 yards on 28 carries for an abysmal two yards per rush. Oakland wasn’t stunning against Baltimore by any means – 25 carries for 108 yards – but it gave the Raiders’ backfield a slice of momentum heading into a favorable matchup.

The Raiders rank 23rd in the NFL with 90.6 rushing yards per game. The Chargers’ run defense ranks last among 32 teams, surrendering 161.2 yards on the ground. With a subpar rushing attack facing an even worse unit to stop it, something has to give.

“Just because they’re the worst rushing defense in the league right now, we’re not really looking toward that,” Raiders’ backup Jalen Richard said. “It’s just looking toward what are they doing as a defense and what can we do as an offense to make sure that we have some efficient runs.”

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Richard, not starter Marshawn Lynch, has been the more efficient runner this season. He’s averaged more yards per carry than Lynch in four of five games. Lynch’s longest carry of the year was 14 yards in Week 1, and Richard has recorded the Raiders’ longest rush in four of five contests. While Lynch’s two rushing touchdowns have come from inside the five-yard line, Richard reeled off a 52-yard score against the Jets in Week 2 and has chipped in a handful of lengthy gains with Lynch failing to do the same.

Since Week 2, Lynch …read more

Source:: East Bay – Sports

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