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Monday, April 4, 2011
Raiders' offense is a ball magnet

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

The ball bounced the Oakland Raiders’ way in 2010.

Will it continue?

According to Jason Vida of ESPN Stats & Information, Oakland recovered 22 of its own fumbles last season. It was a league high.

The Raiders improved to 8-8 last season after enduring seven straight seasons of 11 or more losses. Perhaps Oakland’s ability to recover fumbles helped it get better. In a Week 5 win over the San Diego Chargers, the Raiders fumbled three times. They recovered each one. San Diego fumbled three times in the game. Oakland recovered each time.

Fumble recovery doesn’t always result in victory. Oakland, which has led the NFL in recovering its own fumbles five times since the 1970 merger, led the league in recovering its own fumbles with 25 in 2007. The Raiders were 4-12 that season. The Raiders have led the NFL with 88 recoveries of their own fumbles over the past five seasons.

In 2008, the year after Oakland led the league in the category, it finished eighth in the NFL in own fumble recoveries. Since 2000, only the 2002-03 Minnesota Vikings led the NFL in the category in back-to-back years.

Let’s see, in 2011, if the ball will continue to bounce Oakland’s way.