Raiders focused on the run

The Raiders live and die by how well they defend the run, according to the numbers and the coaches. That will be even more important with Adrian Peterson running at them.

Coach Hue Jackson and defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan have maintained since the beginning of the season that stopping the run has been Job 1 and it has been borne out by the numbers.

When opponents have had difficulty running the ball, the Raiders have won. When they've piled up rushing yards, Oakland has lost.

With that as a backdrop, Oakland takes on the Minnesota Vikings and Adrian Peterson, the NFL's fifth-leading rusher, this weekend on the road. Peterson has never played against the Raiders, having missed a 2007 regular-season game during his rookie year because of injury.

"I'm pretty pumped up to play these guys," Peterson said.

He'll be real pumped up should the Vikings win, because that would likely mean a big rushing day.

In the four games the Raiders have lost, opposing runners have gained 837 yards on 132 carries, averaging 6.3 yards per carry, and scored eight touchdowns.

In the five games the Raiders have own, opposing runners have gained 348 yards on 99 attempts, a 3.5 average, and scored only one touchdown on a 1-yard sneak by New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez in Week 3.

The Jets were the only team to lose to Oakland and hit triple figures – gaining exactly 100 yards.

Jackson makes no secret about the attempt to slow down Peterson and put the game in the hands of Vikings rookie quarterback Christian Ponder.

"The No. 1 guy on their offensive football team obviously is Adrian Peterson," Jackson said. "That's where it starts for them and that's where it ends for them on offense. That's a huge advantage for them when you have a guy like him who can run the ball."

Raiders free safety Michael Huff hasn't faced Peterson in the NFL, but remembers a 12-0 Texas loss to Oklahoma when Peterson was a true freshman. Huff recalled Peterson gaining "270 yards" but it was actually 225 on 32 carries.

"He's the same guy," Huff said. "One guy will never tackle him. You've got to gang tackle him. That's the key. You've got to have two or three guys to tackle him. We've got to swarm."

Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly lauds Peterson, at 6-1, 217 pounds, to both run with power and also have the speed to go the distance.

"He can get the 1-yarder and push the pile, he can take it the distance," Kelly said. "He has the speed to get to the edge, but that ain't his thing. He just wants the opportunity to get downhill. You know they're going to run the ball so you'll get the opportunity to hit him."


  • Reserve tight end Brandon Myers is likely to get plenty of snaps against Minnesota with the Raiders looking to utilize sets with an extra tight end as well as heavy-load line packages to help deal with Minnesota defensive end Jared Allen.

    Myers may not catch many passes, but he'll be counted upon to chip Allen as often as possible, as will Kevin Boss if he lines up on Allen's side.

  • RB Darren McFadden did not practice and will likely be declared out of the Minnesota game Friday.

  • CB Chimdi Chekwa, battling a hamstring injury since Week 4, was placed on injured reserve.

  • CB Bryan McCann, who last played for the Baltimore Ravens, was signed to the 53-man roster to replace Chimdi Chekwa.

  • WR Jacoby Ford did not practice and will likely be declared out of the Minnesota game.

  • DT Richard Seymour hasn't practiced since the Raiders' Thursday night game against San Diego but could play against Minnesota.

  • PK Sebastian Janikowski continues to rest his left hamstring but is expected to kick against the Vikings.

  • FB Manase Tonga has been out with a knee injury since the San Diego game and isn't expected to face Minnesota.

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