Raiders offensive line starting to ‘settle in’ now with very positive results in win over Texans

It’s safe to say the Raiders offensive line is coming off their best game of the season. They not only played a big role in Josh Jacobs having arguably the best game of his career, but kept Derek Carr clean as well.

Jacobs ran for 143 yards and three touchdowns in the win over the Texans. Most of those yards (98) and all of the touchdowns occurred in the second half as the Raiders offensive line wore down the defense.

It is probably no coincidence that they had such a game with the same starting five for consecutive weeks for the first time this season.

Granted, right tackle Jermaine Eluemunor went out on the first drive and was replaced by Thayer Munford, the other starting four were the same and at the same positions where they had started prior to the bye week. And Munford has played enough snaps at right tackle, having him come in didn’t disrupt anything.

Right tackle has seen a great deal of change going back to training camp, preseason, and the regular season. But so too has the guard positions and even the center position.

While Andre James is the returning starter at the center position, both guard positions have new faces. And they haven’t always been the same new faces. 

The new face the coaching staff has been trying to find a home for is rookie Dylan Parham. The top pick (third round) seems to have found his home at left guard. And his chemistry with left tackle Kolton Miller is showing up on the field.

“It’s just everybody moving around and now we’re getting comfortable with one another and we’re starting to settle in a little bit more,” Parham said following the Raiders win over the Texans Sunday. “Once you know how another player plays, you can play off of them. It helps the whole offensive line. But that’s the thing, we’re all one as a unit. There’s five of us, but we’re all one. So, once we start getting on one course it helps us play a lot better, so I feel like that’s why we’re playing well as we go along.”

Being the only steady presence on the offensive line, left tackle Kolton Miller agreed wholeheartedly with Parham’s assessment.

“We’re learning more from each other and we hope to keep it up,” Miller said of he and Parham working next to each other. “He’ll probably be there for a while. He’s growing a lot as a young player, as a first year player. He’ll talk and that’s the biggest thing is communication with all these stunts. He’s been coming in with a veteran mentality as a rookie, so that’s been huge.”

Getting the run game going the way they have in recent weeks has helped the offense considerably. Mostly it takes pressure off Derek Carr and the receivers. It also keeps the defense honest, leading to open receivers when they do go to the air.

It was clear that balance was off over the first few games and some of that was because the offensive line was not performing well. There was clearly a lot more blame to go around, but the offensive line is crucial to the success of an offense and it wasn’t what it needed to be. 

From the looks of it, that is changing. It has led to two wins over the past three games, and the other game was a close loss to the Chiefs. And that’s with right tackle still being a bit of an issue. Get that one figured out and we will see more runaway wins like we saw last Sunday.

Story originally appeared on Raiders Wire