Raiders' passing game shows promise

October, 1, 2010
10/01/10
10:00
AM ET
Here is some number crunching that shows why Oakland should be excited about its offense.

An ESPN.com Insiders’ piece shows that Oakland quarterback Bruce Gradkowski is leading the NFL in yards actually thrown through the air per passing attempt, with a 10.6 per attempt average.

Second-year receiver Louis Murphy is one of 13 receivers with at least 20 targets who don’t have any drops. This is an important development. As a rookie last season, Murphy dealt with hands' issues. With Murphy becoming a reliable receiver, expect him to get even more chances to make plays. He and Gradowksi have built a nice chemistry together since late last season. These two have a chance to be one of the league’s better quarterback-receiver tandems.

With the Raiders hoping to get Chaz Schilens back soon from a knee injury and 2009 first-round pick Darrius Heyward-Bey continuing to grow, Oakland’s passing game has a chance to flourish. That’s one of the reasons why Gradkowski replaced Jason Campbell at halftime of the second game against St. Louis. He can make plays happen even with a poor offensive line and find his young receivers.

Considering that running back Darren McFadden has 345 rushing yards, Oakland’s offense has some interesting pieces to work with.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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