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3 Questions: Stuffing Raiders' Run; Dunbar & Wilber Spark?


Were you surprised what you saw from Lance Dunbar?

Broaddus: Not at all. I have always felt like that if he was healthy enough and given the chance, he had the ability to make plays. It goes back for me to those days in the OTAs when he was getting those opportunities while DeMarco Murray was out. This league is about match ups and how well you are able to take advantage of them.

Dunbar is one of those players that despite his size always played bigger on tape. He did when he was in college at North Texas. There is just so much explosiveness to his game and when he can get a little crack or seam, he can make things happen. I know that the front office and coaches had concern about the times that he put the ball on the ground but they also love his ability to attack the defense.

As tough as Murray ran the ball again the Raiders, it was Dunbar that was able to give this offense the jump that they needed. Anytime you can get him the ball in space and the offensive line can get a piece of their men, Dunbar can get up the field where it might take Murray a tick or two longer. This offense needs Lance Dunbar and on Thursday afternoon against a good run defense, we saw why.

Has Kyle Wilber found a new home at linebacker?

Broaddus: You have to give Wilber a ton of credit for the way he has played these last two weeks. For a guy that was drafted to play in a different scheme, he has made these coaches look smart by playing him at that Sam linebacker. I was not sure how he would be able to make that adjustment after watching him play as a strong side defensive end in this 4 - 3.

I didn't like he was nearly strong enough or have the power to hang in there. I liked him on the weak side rushing the passer off the edge and we even saw that in the Redskins game earlier in the season. I had my concerns in this game against the Raiders where he was going to have to take on blocks at the point of attack and shed but for the second straight week, he was able to hang in there and not allow the ball to his side which was what I thought was a key to the game.

For Wilber he looks very natural playing the position but more importantly, he looks like a confident player. He was in on four tackles, a big fumble recovery that led to a DeMarco Murray score and a pressure of Matt McGloin. It will interesting to see how these defensive coaches handle to the playing time with Justin Durant most likely back against the Bears in 11 days. Regardless, Kyle Wilber is giving this defense his best and there was a time where we were not sure where that was going to be.

All you preached about was the Raiders running the ball, what happened? 

Broaddus: If you would have told me before this game, that the Cowboys would outrush the raiders by nearly 100 yards, I would have laughed at you, but it looks like, I am the one that should be laughed at. After studying these Raiders games, I was extremely nervous about them loading up and just punishing this Cowboys front seven with Rashad Jennings and Darren McFadden. [embedded_ad]

The Cowboys had not played well against the run the last two weeks and at various other times during the season. To their credit, there play at the point was outstanding and with times, the safeties walking down in the box, it helped them control the Raiders when they did hand it off. The Raiders were able to make plays in the passing game in the first half but for the most part, were held in check in the second.

I felt like that if the Cowboys could have taken the ball and moved it well, finishing drives it would have forced the Raiders to go away from the run and put the game in Matt McGloin's hands which is what happened. The Raiders were almost unstoppable converting 3rd down in the first half but were held without one in the second half. By the way that Monte Kiffin and his defense played run defense in this game, it forced the Raiders into the type of game that they were able to have success early but could not sustain and that was the difference in the game.

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