RB Latavius Murray - New Orleans Saints
|6-3, 230||Born: 12-30-1990||College: UCF||Drafted: Round 6, pick 2013|
2019 Week 1 vs HOU (6 / 43 / 1 rush, 3 / 2 / 4 / 0 rec)
With the departure of Mark Ingram, the Saints signed Murray in the offseason to compliment Kamara in the back field. He is the bigger back and is used in power situations and when the Saints need to run off some clock. In his first regular season game, Murray did not disappoint and managed to do everything that was asked of him. He averaged 7.2 yards per carry (inflated by a 30-yard run), caught 2 of his 3 targets, and looked good in pass protection. Murray is not the same back that Ingram is and will not see the same workload over the course of the year, but he seems to have a clear role and the Saints are not afraid to use him. Murray's 30-yard run went for a touchdown and was straight up the middle. Murray burst through the second level and made a sharp cut to the outside before turning on the burners and outrunning the entire defense. He showed that he is not just a power back and that he has break-away speed when he needs it.
2019 Week 2 vs LAR (5 / 7 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 16 / 0 rec)
The Saints rushing attack totaled 20 carries for a total of 57 yards, and Murray did not play a major role in any of that. His 5 carries for 7 yards averages out to just 1.7 yards per carry and his lone reception more than doubled his yards on the ground. Murray also did not look good in pass protection as Bridgewater was hurried on almost every drop back Murray was in the game. The Saints abandoned the running game this week and that type of game script does not bring much value for Murray. The Saints are going to try and establish the run next week in Seattle to prevent a repeat of this week and Murray is going to have to play much better or he will see even more of his carries going to Kamara.
2019 Week 3 vs SEA (2 / 2 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
It was a tough day for Murray as he was only given 2 carries and did not play any major role in the offense at all. The game script should have called for grinding out drives in the second half and trying to burn clock, but the Saints went with Kamara instead of Murray this week. We did not expect anywhere close to the same type of split Kamara had with Mark Ingram last season, but Murray warrants more than 2 carries in a game. This offense is trying to figure out who they are without Brees under center and that could lead to some frustrating results from some players each week.
2019 Week 4 vs DAL (4 / 14 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 6 / 0 rec)
It was not a great week for Kamara as he failed to surpass 100 total yards this week. The Saints offense was out of sync and there were no explosive of big plays from anyone. Kamara had a long run of 13 yards on the ground and saw the ball spread around the offense more than in recent weeks. He carried the ball 17 times and other players had 10 carries. Taysom Hill had the longest run on the ground from the wild cat, and Kamara's never got a chance down around the goal line to punch in a touchdown. He caught all 3 of his targets this week but was covered by Dallas very well. Michael Thomas, Josh Hill, Jared Cook, and Ted Ginn all saw more targets in the passing game this week and the Saints did not utilize one of their best weapons out of the back field. Kamara has a great matchup next week against a Tampa Bay defense that gave up multiple touchdown to Todd Gurley and this week's game will be a distant memory.
2019 Week 5 vs TB (7 / 28 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 6 / 0 rec)
It has been a very rocky start to the season for Murray. The constant changes with the offense have made it difficult and Murray has taken the biggest hit. He was given 7 carries this week and turned in a 4 yards per carry average. He also took away 2 targets and receptions in the passing game from Kamara but was not able to do very much with them. The role for Murray in this offense is even less than it was when he was in Minnesota with everything going through Kamara. The Saints still trust him to eat up clock time at the end of the game when needed, but his role continues to shrink. Murray benefits from game script and the Saints just have not played many games that play to his strengths.
2019 Week 6 vs JAX (8 / 44 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 35 / 0 rec)
This was the best all around game for Murray so far this season. He carried the ball 8 times and averaged 5.5 yards per carry with a long 15-yard run off the edge. He also caught all 3 of his targets for another 35 yards and had more total yards than Kamara for the first time this season. Murray had a touchdown called back after a holding penalty on a screen play where he followed his blockers and then weaved through defenders for the score. Murray has taken a back seat to Kamara for much of the season, but showed this week why the Saints let go of Mark Ingram and brought him in. Murray is a great change of pace option for the Saints and should see his usage grow as the season wears on and Kamara needs a breather.
2019 Week 7 vs CHI (27 / 119 / 2 rush, 6 / 5 / 31 / 0 rec)
The Saints continue to show that they can stick anyone in the offense, and they will have success. Murray took over the starting role this week with Kamara ruled out and turned in a 100+ yard and 2 touchdown performance. The Saints ran him into the ground with 27 carries and another 6 targets in the passing game. Murray's first touchdown came from 3 yards out after a big 45-yard catch by Ted Ginn. It was a simple power I formation run that Murray took right up the middle of the defense. He was stopped about a yard short and kept churning his legs until he got in. The second touchdown put the Saints up big at the start of the 4th quarter and came from 4 yards out. Murray was the lone back and followed his left guard in for the score. He made a good cut and turned his body just enough to squeeze in between defenders for the score. Murray chipped in 5 receptions on 6 targets for another 30 yards and showed why the Saints let Mark Ingram go and brought him in to spell Kamara this season.
2019 Week 8 vs ARI (21 / 102 / 1 rush, 12 / 9 / 55 / 1 rec)
New Orleans continues to show just how much depth they have at key positions as Murray filled in for an ailing Kamara again this week. Murray rushed for more than 100 yards and added touchdowns through the air and on the ground against a porous Cardinals defense. Murray had the first touchdown of the game as he powered the ball 8 yards off the right guard. He slipped through a big whole and was not hit by a defender until he was crossing the goal line. This capped off a 7 play 71-yard drive and put the Saints up 10-3 in the 2nd quarter. His second touchdown was a 15-yard catch and run down the side line. Murray caught the ball 3 yards down the field in the flat and turned it up the field for 12 more yards before tip toeing into the end zone. Murray averaged just under 5 yards per carry this week and helped to take a lot of pressure off of Brees in his return to the lineup. Murray led the team with 12 targets and caught 9 of them for an additional 55 yards. Murray has shown he can handle the duties of a lead running back and should have worked his way to a bigger role when Kamara returns from injury. We should not expect a 50/50 split but at least a much bigger percentage based on how he has played.
2019 Week 10 vs ATL (5 / 12 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 7 / 0 rec)
All of that hard work while Kamara was injured seemed to go out the window this week. He filled in admirably for Kamara and should have been afforded a bigger role in the offense, but that did not happen this week. For some unfathomable reason, the Saints only ran the ball 11 times. Murray had 5 carries to 4 for Kamara and his longest run went for 6 yards. He also caught both of his targets but did not play a big role in the passing game. The Saints will have to reset this week and get ready to take on Tampa Bay. The team should focus more on the run next week but after the result of this game it seems like anything is possible.
2019 Week 11 vs TB (10 / 27 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 5 / 0 rec)
This was a game to forget for Murray again this week. HE was given a fair amount of carries this week with 10 but was unable to do anything with them. He averaged just 2.7 yards per carry and almost half of his yards came on a single 12-yard rush off tackle. Murray did not make up for this shortcoming in the pass game like Kamara did. HE caught 2 of his 3 targets for 5 total yards and did not make much of an impact. Murray has still earned the right to a fair number of touches in the offense, but he is going to need to perform better if he wants to keep it that way. Rushing attempts were almost 50/50 this week but could start to trend in the other direction if he continues to struggle.
2019 Week 12 vs CAR (7 / 64 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
With Kamara seemingly still banged up and not playing like his former self, Murray continues to make plays ion the offense. He had 4 fewer carries on the ground and not a single target through the air, but he did have an impressive 26-yard touchdown. Murray exploded off the right guard, weaved through defenders, and powered his way into the end zone for a touchdown on the opening drive of the game. He seems to be running with more power and speed than Kamara right now and has steadily been taking carries away. He has never been the best pass catching back and that is the only place Kamara seems to have an edge right now. Look for the number of carries to increase down the stretch as the Saints try and keep Kamara healthy for the playoffs. With a win next week on Thanksgiving and a loss by Carolina, the Saints would win the division out right and would only be playing for seeding at that point.
2019 Week 13 vs ATL (4 / 2 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
It was a tough week for Murray. He has fought all season to show that he is a viable back in this offense and then he has a game like this week. Murray ran the ball 4 times for just 2 yards and did not have a single target in the passing game. His longest carry of the game went for a single yard and he averaged just .5 yards per carry total. The Saints got things done in other aspects of the game this week, but the struggles of the run game are concerning heading down the stretch and into the playoffs. Murray and Kamara will have to get it going if they want to make a deep post season run.
2019 Week 14 vs SF (7 / 69 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 25 / 0 rec)
Almost all of the rushing yards this week went through Murray. He averaged 9.9 yards per carry with his longest run going for 18 yards and having just 7 carries. He also outpaced Kamara in the receiving department with 25 yards on 2 catches. His first catch went for 30 yards and a big play with his second catch going for -5 yards. Murray has played great while Kamara has struggled in recent weeks. He has looked a lot more like Mark Ingram did last season than most would have expected in this offense. The Saints may consider using him more down the stretch and trying to rest Kamara's ankle heading into the playoffs.
2019 Week 15 vs IND (9 / 29 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 20 / 0 rec)
This game was not about running the ball at all, but Murray still got his fair share of attempts. Murray had 9 attempts to 14 for Kamara. He saw Dwayne Washington cut into his work on the final offensive drive of the game for the Colts, but the game was already won at that point. Murray averaged just 3.2 yards per carry and never made it past the second level of defenders this week. His longest run went for 8 yards up the middle and he never made it any further. Murray ruined what would have been a perfect passing day for Brees by stopping a swing route on a broken play. The pass fell incomplete a few yards out in front of him and could have given Brees a 100% completion percentage had he not stopped his route. The Saints will look to go more balanced heading into the playoffs and more productive days should be ahead for Murray.
2019 Week 16 vs TEN (7 / 14 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 11 / 0 rec)
It was an all-around quiet day for Murray this week. The only real noise he made was on a goal line carry in the 4th quarter that he was stuffed for a loss of a yard. The touchdown went to Thomas on the very next play and Murray did not have any other great chances. He rushed the ball 7 times and averaged 2 yards per carry. He also caught 2 of his 3 targets with the longest going for 7 yards. The Saints have used Murray extensively this season to try and keep Kamara healthy, but we are going to see them lean on Kamara down the stretch and into the playoffs.
2019 Week 17 vs CAR (17 / 61 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 14 / 0 rec)
Murray finishes the regular season with 146 carries for 637 yards and 5 touchdowns on the ground for the Saints. He got his chances this season filling in for Kamara when he was injured and proved that he can be a key piece in this offense. Murray was given 17 carries this week and carried the load the entire 4th quarter. His longest run went for 13 yards and finished this game with a 3.6 yards per carry average. His only target and catch came on the 14-yard dump off by Bridgewater in the 4th quarter. Murray ended up having nearly half of the 35 total carries for the Saints this week and again showed his ability to hold on to the ball and help burn clock at the end of a game. The Saints are going to lean on Kamara in the playoffs but there should still be a rather big role for Murray as well. It will not be a 50/50 split like it has been at times this season but he has earned his playoff spot.
2019 Week 18 vs MIN (5 / 21 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)
The narrative was there for Murray this week. He was taking on the team that let him go after last season and had his chance for revenge. Unfortunately, the Vikings did a great job stopping the run and Murray was only given 5 carries. Murray rushed for the same number of yards as Kamara with 2 fewer carries, and his longest run went for 8 yards. Murray's style of running seemed to be working better against the Viking defense, but the Saints never got him going. Murray was also targeted twice out of the back field and made just 1 catch for 4 yards. The only person with sustained success on the ground was Taysom Hill. Power running seemed to be working against the Vikings, but the Saints were not willing to change their game plan when trailing by 10 in the second half. Murray deserved a bigger role with the struggles of Kamara this season, but the Saints did not go that route.
2018 Week 1 vs SF (11 / 42 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
It is easy to forget the Murray was a Pro Bowler and had a season with over 1,000 yards when he was in Oakland as he fights to remain relevant in Minnesota. He was the only back to find any sort of rhythm or success against the 49ers this week, though very limited. He led the team in rush yards despite 5 less carries than Cook. His biggest contribution came in the form of insurance. After Cook had fumbled away the ball on the 49ers side of the field in the first half, Murray was used down the stretch to help run out the clock and save wear and tear on Cook. Murray managed a lone 9-yard run for his best play of the game and was not targeted in the passing game at all. The Vikings did not spend a lot of time in the red zone today or near the goal line. It will be interesting to see which back is given the ball in a 1st and goal to go situation as the season progresses.
2018 Week 2 vs GB (4 / 19 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
It is hard to get anything going with only 4 carries, but Murray found the most room to run and averaged just under 5 yards per carry. It was Murray that the Vikings trusted in overtime to setup the game winning field goal attempt and not Cook. Murray ripped off a 9 and then 4-yard rush to set the Vikings up on the 17-yard line for that fateful kick. He was not targeted in the passing game at all and lost out on goal line carries to Cook. Murray is not that far removed from being a Pro Bowl running back in Oakland, but he is clearly serving a secondary role in Minnesota. If Cook continues to struggle on the ground, it will be interesting to see how many more carries Murray is given.
2018 Week 3 vs BUF (2 / 1 / 0 rush, 7 / 5 / 30 / 0 rec)
This was supposed to be Murrays chance to prove that he still had something left in the tank and could be a starter somewhere in the NFL. Unfortunately, the game script ruined that, and Murray only rushed 2 times the entire game. The entire Vikings rush offense only ran the ball 6 times as they trailed the entire game. Murray played a small role in the passing game despite being targeted 7 times. One of those fateful targets resulted in an interception. Cousins checked the ball down to Murray who had leaked out of the back field. The ball hit him right in the chest, but so did the middle linebackers for Buffalo. The ball shot up in the air and was intercepted by a diving defender. This play was by no fault of Murray or even Cousins, but rather a great defensive play by the Bills. Dalvin Cook is expected to play next week against the Rams and it looks like it will be a short tenure for Murray as the Vikings starter this week. If Cook's hamstring still bothers him and he is unable to go, Murray still is not a great play against a Rams defense the boasts one of the best lines in the NFL.
2018 Week 4 vs LAR (2 / 2 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 16 / 0 rec)
The Vikings all but abandoned the run game again this week and Murray got almost no chance to run the ball. He had 1 rush attempt of 8 yards wiped out due to a holding call but it would not have done much to make his stat line look any better. The biggest thing to note is how much he played in the second half instead of Cook, and then when they went to Boone and Ham in clear passing downs instead or Murray. There is nothing positive to say about the Vikings rushing attack so far this season, but they have also been playing from behind the past 3 weeks. Murray seems to be the trusted back right now in high pressure situations, but the Vikings want to go with Cook long term. Murray is going to be touchdown dependent from here on out as long as Cook is fully healthy. The biggest play he made was a two-point conversion to bring the score within 3 after a long touchdown to Adam Thielen.
2018 Week 5 vs PHI (11 / 42 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 14 / 0 rec)
With Dalvin Cook on the shelf, Murray is the lead back again. However, the Vikings cannot seem to get anything going on the ground. Philadelphia has a very stout rush defense and held the Vikings to under 100 rush yards as a team. Murray was given more carries than anyone else but was unable to do anything with them. He averaged under 4 yards per carry and only had 1 carry over 10 yards. Stefon Diggs had the longest rush for the Vikings this week and that should never happen if the team commits to running the ball. The matchup next week should be ideal for whoever takes the bulk share of the carries. The Cardinals have been very generous to opposing running backs. Murray may be a good play next week if Cook is ruled out again.
2018 Week 6 vs ARI (24 / 155 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / 3 / 0 rec)
The run game has left something to be desired for the Vikings all season long. They have relied on Kirk Cousins' arm and have not committed to the run at all. That all changed this week when the Vikings got to race the worst rushing defense in the league. Murray was given the start when Cook was ruled out before game time, and then he was actually given the ball. He received 24 carries and 2 targets in the passing game this week and produced his best yardage total as a Viking. He ripped off a long run of 34 yards off tackle and scored the first touchdown of the game running for 21 yards straight up the middle. The talk all week long was that Murray and Cook would split reps this week, but it instead turned into the Latavius Murray show. The Vikings rushed 32 times as a team for 195 yards, both season highs. Murray has proven that he can be an effective back, even behind a banged up offensive line. It will be interesting to see what the Vikings decide to do with the workload next week against the Jets.
2018 Week 7 vs NYJ (15 / 69 / 2 rush, 2 / 2 / 14 / 0 rec)
The running game has struggled all season outside of Murray taking over for the injured Cook. Murray had the only success on the ground of any running back and punched in 2 touchdowns. The first touchdown was an 11-yard scamper off the right guard and the second was a 38-yard burst off the same right guard. Murray found the majority of his success running off the right side and averaged 4.7 yards per carry. Murray has had success the last 2 weeks filling in for Cook. The Vikings have committed more to running him than they have Cook at any point this season and it will be interesting to see the dynamic going forward. It is not a lost season for Cook, but Murray has demanded more attention in the offense. The Saints have struggled on defense through the air so far this season and the running game will not be featured as much.
2018 Week 8 vs NO (13 / 56 / 1 rush, 6 / 5 / 39 / 0 rec)
With Cook ruled out for another week, Murray was given lead back duties again this week. However, in an interesting move by the Vikings, 6 different players had a rushing attempt against New Orleans. Murray was the only back to find sustained success. His 13 carries were 10 more than any other back but fewer than he has averaged in the last 2 games. A lot of this had to do with game script as the Vikings played from behind the entire second half. New Orleans came in as the second-best rush defense and held the Vikings to 85 total rushing yards as a team. Murray played a much bigger role in the passing game this week as well. His 6 targets trailed only Diggs, Thielen, and Rudolph this week and were a result of Roc Thomas getting injured in the first half. Murray scored a touchdown for the 3rd straight game with his 1-yard plunge in the second quarter. He took the ball in from the 1-yard line by leaping up on to the back of his offensive linemen and reached the ball over the goal line before being pushed back. There is still no clear time line for the return of Cook and until that happens, it is Murray's rushing attack to lead.
2018 Week 9 vs DET (10 / 31 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 16 / 0 rec)
The first drive of the game looked like it was going to be business as usual for Murray. He had established himself in the last 3 weeks with Cook out, but that changed this week. Murray got the goal line carry and touchdown, but it was not without controversy. It appeared as if Murray had tried to reach the ball over the goal line and fumbled. Kyle Rudolph fell on the ball and was given the initial touchdown call. The play was reviewed after the fact and Murray ended up getting credit for the touchdown. He had the same number of carries as Cook but was not used in the passing game nearly as much. If you take out the long run by Cook, each back had about the same yards per carry and just could not find a lot of success by a beat up offensive line. Murray is going to see his touches decrease each week as Cook gets healthier and takes over the lead back role. He will still be used in goal line situations and to occasionally spell Cook, but Murray will not see lead back numbers for the rest of the season.
2018 Week 11 vs CHI (4 / 5 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
It is tough being the secondary back on a team, it is even worse when that team stops running the ball in a game. Murray filled in admirably while Cook was out, but he has been relegated back to being a backup. There was a chance he would get the ball a little more after the costly Cook fumble, but Murray was just as ineffective. He would hit a wall of defenders every time he got a chance and only broke through the line once for a 6-yard carry. His other 3 carries had a net -1 yards and the team only managed 22 yards total. Murray was not targeted in the passing game and it was an all-around rough day for the Minnesota backfield.
2018 Week 12 vs GB (11 / 33 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
The return of Cook was always going to cut into the production of Murray, but he is still the trusted back in crunch time. Murray has a better history of ball security and was used more late in the game when trying to run out the clock. Cook may have been the big play style back, but Murray got the tough yards and helped to kill the clock and get the win this week. Murray was given 1 more carry than Cook and ended up averaging 3 yards per carry. The Vikings scored from 26, 30, and 14 yards out and did not have any goal to go situations to use Murray for short yardage this week. He did not have a single target in the passing game as those situations went to Cook. The Vikings are still trying to strike a balance between running and passing the ball and a lot of that will start by establishing a split between Murray and Cook. Murray remains highly touchdown dependent but is still seeing a fair amount of work for the Vikings.
2018 Week 13 vs NE (4 / 11 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 3 / 0 rec)
It was not a very involved game for Murray. He was given 4 carries and 2 receptions. For comparison, Cook had 9 carries and 10 targets. Murray was never really given a chance to get going with the Vikings playing from behind in the second half. There is a good chance that Murray is no longer part of the Vikings next season, but he needs more opportunity to establish value. His longest run was 5 yards and his longest catch was 2. There was no room for Murray to run this week and the game plan for the Vikings did not help with that. Seattle has been softer against the run than recent seasons, but Murray will still need to have his number called more to make a difference.
2018 Week 14 vs SEA (3 / 4 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Murray was a complete nonfactor this week for the Vikings. He only received 3 carries and came up short in the one spot they really needed him. Murray's name was called on a 4th and 1 play in Seattle territory, but he was stopped short of the line to gain. Maybe this play is what caused the Vikings to not run the ball on the 1-yard line later in the game. Murray has seen a decline in carries since Cook came back but the Vikings also are not committed to running the ball at all. Look for Murray to sign elsewhere in the off season where he will get used more.
2018 Week 15 vs MIA (15 / 68 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
It can be tough to have enough carries to go around, especially when the lead back is hot, and the team has not featured the run all season. However, that was not the case this week as Murray still had 15 carries and scored a touchdown. He averaged a little over 4.5 yards per carry and still looks to be the go to back in short yardage situations. Murray seems to have an increased role in the new Viking offense, but it is a very small sample size so far. His biggest play was an 18-yard rush off tackle for the touchdown. He was not touched until well into the secondary and all that required was a stiff arm to a diving defender. Murray showcased his speed and vision on the impressive touchdown run. This put the Vikings up 21-0 at the time and they never looked back.
2018 Week 16 vs DET (9 / 22 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 6 / 0 rec)
It was not a banner day for the Viking rushing offense this week. They combined for 28 carries and 100 total yards, with Murray accounting for about 1/5 of those yards. He had 9 carries to 16 for Cook and 11 of his 22 yards came on a single rush. Murray also caught both of his targets in the passing game but did not add much in regard to yards. There has been a bigger split between Murray and Cook in recent weeks and Murray has faded into a distant second on the team. He still seems to be the trusted back in short yardage situations, but even that role seems to be going to Cook in recent weeks. He has a tough draw against the Bears next week and would be highly touchdown dependent.
2018 Week 17 vs CHI (2 / 18 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
The Vikings did not commit to running Cook, let alone give Murray any carries. This may have been one of their bigger mistakes as Murray had the longest play from scrimmage for the Vikings this week. He ripped off a 20-yard run to help setup the lone touchdown for the Vikings. His only other carry went for -2 yards, but it is baffling they did not try and use him more after he found the only success on the ground. Murray was not targeted at all in the passing game and only had the 2 total touches. It has been a frustrating season for Murray and there is a good chance he is in a different uniform to start next season.
2017 Week 1 vs NO (2 / 6 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Murray watched from the sideline as Dalvin Cook took control of the lead running back role for Minnesota. On his first carry of the night the former Raider fumbled, recovered by the Vikings, and only saw one more carry for the rest of the game. Murray appears to have not shaken off the rust from his injury, but will most likely see his workload diminish even further as Cook gets established.
2017 Week 3 vs TB (2 / 5 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Murray has all but lost his perceived starting job to Dalvin Cook. The Vikings brought in the free agent in as a bridge to whichever running back they drafted for the future, but the future is now. Murray has seen his workload dwindle as he never truly came back from his offseason surgery. Unless Cook begins to falter late in the season Murray is not going to see the field very much.
2017 Week 4 vs DET (7 / 21 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 8 / 0 rec)
With Dalvin Cook potentially out for the season, Latavius Murray will be the next man up for the Vikings. The former Raider was brought in to be the starter until the Vikings took Cook early in the second round. Through the first 3 games, Murray has only had 7 carries and he matched that again today after Cook left. The workload is still expected to be split between Murray and Jerick McKinnon with a slight edge going to Murray. After Cook went down the rest of the Vikings rushing attack managed a combined 21-yards. With a struggling offensive line and inconsistent quarterback play, it is going to be tough for Murray to succeed. However, if this injury ends Cook's season it will be Murray that gets the bulk of the carries the rest of the way.
2017 Week 5 vs CHI (12 / 31 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 12 / 0 rec)
After losing the starting job to Dalvin Cook, this was supposed to be the week that Murray re-established himself in the Vikings offense. Unfortunately, Murray disappointed again and was outperformed by Jerick McKinnon. Murray was given every chance early in the game to establish himself but only carried to the tune of 2.6 yards per carry. Murray's most effective play came on an 8-yard scamper off guard on the Vikings first drive of the game. Murray is going to need to do a lot more if he wants to remain the starter and if today was any indication he was already passed by McKinnon in the second half for that role.
2017 Week 6 vs GB (15 / 28 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 9 / 0 rec)
This is now the second time that Murray has been passed on the depth chart and the Vikings are kicking themselves for giving him so much money in the offseason. Murray has not been effective on the ground whatsoever and averaged under 2 yards per carry against the Packers today. His lone big play came on a 10-yard run off tackle where he burst through the second level and was upended by the safety. This one play accounted for almost half of his yards on the day, leaving him to gain 18-yards on 14 carries the rest of the way. The Vikings did try to feed him the ball on goal to go situations but Murray was swallowed at the line by a weak Packers front. The Vikings recently brought in Steven Ridley and this could further cut into his touches per game for the rest of the season.
2017 Week 7 vs BAL (18 / 113 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Jerick McKinnon was given the start this week, but Murray was the most effective running back for Minnesota this week. Murray topped 100-yards for the first time as the Viking and scored the Vikings lone touchdown. Murray was given only 4 more carries than McKinnon but was able to do plenty of damage. The big play came on a 33-yard scamper right up the middle where Latavius was barely even touched by a Ravens' defender. Murray was not used in the passing game today and was outpaced by McKinnon with 3 catches. Both running backs are making things difficult for the Vikings' depth chart as each has had a big game in recent weeks. Vikings' head coach Mike Zimmer stated they would ride the hot hand going forward. With the often-windy conditions in Cleveland, the Vikings will rely heavily on the run game again next week.
2017 Week 8 vs CLE (19 / 39 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)
After leading the team in rushing last week, Murray was given the start in the backfield today. He was also given more carries than Jerick McKinnon but was unable to do anything with them. Murray averaged 2.1 yards per carry and could not capitalize on the additional touches. His longest run of the day came on a 10-yard off tackle carry. Murray was also given multiple opportunities in the red zone and goal to go situations. Today was not all Murray's fault as he was often greeted by a Cleveland defender in the backfield and the Viking's offensive line was not opening holes for any running back. It will be interesting to see which back gets the start after the Bye week and who will get more touches.
2017 Week 10 vs WAS (17 / 68 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
The Vikings run game looked amazing at the start of the game. Both Murray and McKinnon were ripping off nice chunks of yards and Murray even found the end zone. This is when the Washington game plan switched to stacking the box to stop the run and making Case Keenum beat them with his arm. Unfortunately for Washington, Keenum did just that but Murray's numbers suffered from that point on. Aside from his 14-yard rush to set up a 1-yard touchdown pass and his 1-yard touchdown run, Murray could not get anything going on the ground. Murray was also not targeted in the passing game at all today and saw a 1-yard touchdown go to David Morgan through the air later in the game. Murray seems entrenched as the starter and had 7 more carries than McKinnon today. It will be interesting to see if the Viking's success throwing the ball this week opens anything up on the ground next week.
2017 Week 11 vs LAR (15 / 95 / 2 rush, 2 / 1 / 1 / 0 rec)
Latavius Murray showed a burst that we have not seen much this season. Murray has just four carries greater than 20 yards and two of them came in this game as he had a 34-yard carry on a play that was masterfully blocked by the offensive line and once Murray got into open space he continued to cut inside and out to gain extra yards before being brought down by LaMarcus Joyner. Murray's second carry was a play in while it looked like a simple off-tackle run was actually a masterful play design by offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. The play actually had two holes for Murray to run to one on the left side and one on the right side and Shurmur kept the defense honest by bringing Stefon Diggs as a lead blocker into the other hole. Outside of these two runs, Murray continued to be his usual self as he utilized his power to pick up a few yards each time he touched the ball and did find himself with two goal-line touchdowns in this game.
2017 Week 12 vs DET (20 / 84 / 1 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Murray continues to work as the lead back for the Minnesota offense, especially in the rushing and goal to go situations. The Vikings did not have a lot of success on the ground outside of Murray and no other runner surpassed 25 yards on the day. The Vikings best rushing drive came at the start of the third quarter when Murray and McKinnon took them 65 yards on 4 plays for a touchdown. Murray did most of the heavy lifting with a 46-yard burst right up the middle and then another 2-yard plunge up the middle for a touchdown. The first run showcased his speed and vision to cut back across the open field and the second was a pure power run up the middle. Murray was targeted once in the passing game but was unable to bring in the attempt. The Vikings run game is very one-dimensional for Murray as he is only used in primarily running situations.
2017 Week 13 vs ATL (16 / 76 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 21 / 0 rec)
Murray was given the start for the Vikings again this week and had the better day as well. He was given 7 more carries and only has 2 fewer receptions than Jerick McKinnon this week. The gap between the two backs is becoming more distinct and Murray is making the best of it. Murray had the longest play for the Vikings on the day when he took the ball up the middle, broke a tackle, and rumbled 30 yards downfield before being tackled at the 2-yard line. This set up a McKinnon receiving touchdown and gave the Vikings their first lead of the day. Murray averaged 4.8 yards per carry and continues to look like the best running back in Minnesota.
2017 Week 14 vs CAR (9 / 14 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 6 / 0 rec)
Murray was given the start this week and was unable to do much of anything on the ground. Both Jerick McKinnon and Case Keenum had more rushing yards than Murray. Of the 14 yards that Murray managed on the ground, 11 came on one play, and the other 8 carries went almost nowhere. He also was unable to do anything with his 2 catches as he only managed 6 yards through the air and was tackled almost immediately every time he touched the ball. Murray had outplayed McKinnon, for the most part, this season, but this simply was not one of those games. Carolina clearly game planned to take Murray away and challenged Keenum to beat them through the air. Murray will get the chance to bounce back next week against a banged-up Cincinnati defense, before wrapping up the season against divisional opponents.
2017 Week 15 vs CIN (20 / 76 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 28 / 0 rec)
The run game has been hot and cold all season since Dalvin Cook went down, but Murray seems to have taken the reins and is leading the way. He still loses touches in the passing game to Jerick McKinnon, but he is the clear lead back in regard to rushing attempts. Murray set a season-high with 20 rushing attempts this week and chipped in a touchdown for good measure. The touchdown was a 1-yard plunge after the Vikings quickly moved down the field with 3 plays of 20+ yards. Murray's longest rush was a 14-yard scamper off the right end to help set up another scoring drive and he also chipped in a 28-yard reception on the first drive of the game to help set up his own touchdown run. Murray eclipsed 100 total yards for only the third time this season but has been a solid contributor to this point. The Vikings rushing attack is going to continue to go through Murray for the final 2 games of the regular season and through the playoffs.
2017 Week 16 vs GB (21 / 69 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 6 / 0 rec)
The pecking order in the Minnesota backfield has come in to focus the final few weeks of the year. Despite the hot start from McKinnon, Murray finally looks healthy and has taken over. Murray out touched McKinnon 22 to 8 this week as the Vikings tried to go to a power run game in the cold. Murray did not find a lot of success against a Packers defense that stacked the box on almost every play and he averaged 3.3 yards per carry. The Packers defense wanted to make Case Keenum beat them and brought the house to stop Murray. His longest run of the day was a 14-yard burst off the right tackle and he added 1 catch for 8 yards in the passing game. The Viking run game should get a boost next week against the Bears at home.
2017 Week 17 vs CHI (20 / 111 / 2 rush, 1 / 1 / 3 / 0 rec)
The entire offense went through Murray this week as he rushed for over 100 yards and added 2 scores on the ground. Both touchdown runs were of the 1-yard variety and were pure power running up the middle. His longest run of the game was a 22-yard scamper off tackle and he finished the day with a 5.6 yards per carry average. Murray added 1 catch for 3 yards but was not needed in the passing game. Murray out-touched McKinnon 21 to 13 this week and will lead the charge in the playoffs.
2017 Week 19 vs NO (19 / 50 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 17 / 0 rec)
If there was 1 weakness to this new and improved Saints defense, it was the running game. The Vikings had a comfortable lead going into the second half and tried to exploit this weakness to no avail. Murray had 19 carries but only averaged 2.6 yards per carry. He was often met in the backfield and could barely get past the line of scrimmage. He did have a 13-yard touchdown run nullified by a holding penalty, but he was still able to cash in from the 1-yard line later on that same drive. Murray's touchdown run was pure power running up the middle and capped off a drive aided by over 50 yards in pass interference calls on the Saints. Murray was largely ineffective in the second half and this allowed the Saints to fight back and take a late lead. Murray was used sparingly in the passing game and managed 13 of his 17 receiving yards on a single play. Murray will have to play better next week if the Vikings want to beat the Eagles and advance to the Super Bowl.
2016 Week 1 vs NO (14 / 59 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / 13 / 0 rec)
Murray scored the first touchdown of the game on a 1st-and-goal draw play from the 6-yard line. Murray sprinted through a massive hole opened up by the interior linemen and plowed through linebacker James Laurinaitis near the goal line for the touchdown. Murray ran hard and had a few gains straight up the middle for eight or nine yards. He did a nice job spinning off the initial tackle to gain an extra yard and pick up the first down on a short yardage carry. Murray did well to pick up 13 yards on a short check down pass over the middle from Carr. While Murray played well, the young backs have more juice and are more likely to bust off big gains if they can get to the second level. While Murray should remain the starter, he is likely to continue to lose touches to Richard and Washington and Olawale is going to steal some goal line work.
2016 Week 2 vs ATL (8 / 57 / 1 rush, 6 / 6 / 44 / 0 rec)
Murray scored the game's first touchdown on a 1st-and-goal carry from the one-yard line. The left side of the Raiders line blew a big hole in the Falcons front and Murray was able to get into the end zone easily. Murray bounced off a tackler in the backfield, broke outside and nearly scored on an impressive 18-yard gain down to the 2-yard line. He got the first-and-goal carry on the next play, but was stood up in the hole and driven backwards by linebacker Deion Jones. Murray had a big game receiving and made a couple nice runs after catching the ball short over the middle. The receiving production was largely a product of the Falcons, which left the short middle of the field wide open on nearly every play (especially late in the game when the Falcons went to a prevent defense). Murray played just less than half of the Raiders snaps (36 of 75) as the two rookies backs continue to see extensive playing time. In fact, Richard and Washington combined for five more carries than Murray.
2016 Week 3 vs TEN (10 / 37 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 1 / 0 rec)
Murray took his first carry of the game straight up the middle for a 22-yard touchdown. He burst through the hole untouched, juked a Safety at the second level and had a clear path to the end zone. The opening run was the only highlight of the day for Murray, who managed just 16 total yards on 10 touches the rest of the way. He received less than half of the running back snaps and touches.
2016 Week 4 vs BAL (8 / 19 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 5 / 0 rec)
It was rough sledding for Murray against the Ravens stout run defense. His longest run of the day was just four yards. Murray played 57% of the snaps, but again had less than 50% of the RB touches. There will be better matchups for Murray moving forward, but his usage is a major concern for fantasy owners.
2016 Week 7 vs JAX (18 / 59 / 2 rush, 5 / 2 / 4 / 0 rec)
Murray didn't get the start, but came in for the second drive of the game. He ran hard, with no-nonsense runs straight up the middle. He took his first goal line opportunity for a 3-yard touchdown. The Raiders went with a heavy goal line formation and Murray followed a pulling guard and a monster block from left tackle Donald Penn into the end zone. Murray had a couple targets in the two-minute drill before halftime. He pulled the first one in for a short gain, but the second one bounced right off his chest. Murray received many of his carries in the fourth quarter with the Raiders nursing a big lead, but he wasn't able to keep the chains moving. He was able to score a late touchdown from 10-yards out in the final minutes of the game (in what was essentially garbage time). On first-and-goal, he charged straight up the middle and was untouched until just before the end zone. He able to stretch the ball over the goal line after a glancing hit.
2016 Week 8 vs TB (11 / 48 / 0 rush, 7 / 5 / 23 / 0 rec)
Murray was the lead back, but handled just half the carries as DeAndre Washington, Jalen Richard and Jamize Olawale all shared snaps in the backfield. Murray's chances of scoring a goal line touchdown were hurt by penalties. On an early 1st-and-goal from the two, the Raiders were pushed back by a delay of game.
2016 Week 9 vs DEN (20 / 114 / 3 rush, 1 / 1 / 13 / 0 rec)
With the Raiders in full control of the game and intent on pounding the ball, Murray had a monster game. His approximately 50% share of the running back snaps and touches remained essentially unchanged, but the Raiders ran 85 offensive plays and the backs either took handoffs or were targeted in the passing game on 43 of those snaps. Murray played 51% of the snaps and received 49% of the running back touches. On the Raiders first goal-to-go opportunity of the game, Murray carried three straight times. After a strong 8-yard gain to the outside on first down and a minimal gain on second down, he dived over the top and reached the ball just barely over the line for the short touchdown on third down. Murray displayed his power and toughness, pushing forward and through a tackle attempt on a 13-yard reception down the right sideline. Murray broke off a huge gain on a 3rd-and-1 carry in the final two minutes before halftime. He ran through a big hole up the middle and sprinted into the secondary and down the sideline for a 42-yard gain. Murray had a 1-yard touchdown catch called back due to an illegal man downfield penalty on Donald Penn. But Murray was able to find the end zone again two plays later, running right behind Penn on the left side for a 1-yard touchdown. After multiple short passing attempts into the end zone drew flags against the Broncos, Murray punched in his third 1-yard touchdown of the game on a dive over the top of the pile.
2016 Week 11 vs HOU (12 / 33 / 0 rush, 5 / 5 / 59 / 0 rec)
It was more of the same for Murray. He continues to play only about half of the snaps and the Raiders running game isn't very efficient, so he is dependent upon cashing in goal line carries (which are shared with Olawale) for touchdowns for much of his fantasy value. Murray had 12 of the 18 total running back carries for the Raiders. While Murray played just 29 snaps, he was still able to rack up 17 touches. The Raiders weren't able to get much going on the ground though as the Texans defensive line won the battle in the trenches. Murray had the longest carry of any Raider at just six yards. He nearly scored a short rushing touchdown as he dove and extended the ball towards the goal line, but was marked down just short. Olawale came in for the next carry from the 1-yard line, a frustratingly common occurrence for Murray's fantasy owners. He did have his best game of the season as a receiver though. He made an impressive one-handed grab for a short gain on the opening drive and hauled in a key 39-yard reception down the sideline on the Raiders' game-winning touchdown drive in the fourth quarter.
2016 Week 12 vs CAR (19 / 45 / 1 rush, 4 / 3 / 43 / 0 rec)
Murray picked up 32 yards on an early screen play. The Raiders brought Amari Cooper across on jet sweep motion and faked the reverse to him, fooling the defense. The misdirection left Murray all alone on the other side with blockers ahead of him and he caught the short toss and galloped into the secondary. Aside from the one play, Murray wasn't a big factor in the passing game. For the second straight week, Murray wasn't able to generate a run longer than seven yards. Much of his value is tied up in whether or not he is able to score any short touchdowns and he continues to get valuable carries inside the 10 yard line. On the Raiders first touchdown drive, he was stuffed for a 4-yard loss on a 1st-and-goal carry from the six. On the Raiders second touchdown drive, Murray was able to finish it off with a 3-yard touchdown on 1st down. He ran off of left tackle and might a sharp cut to beat a defender back inside and get across the goal line. Overall, Murray had six carries inside the Panthers 10-yard line, so it's no surprise he was able to post another rushing touchdown.
2016 Week 13 vs BUF (20 / 82 / 2 rush, 5 / 3 / 23 / 0 rec)
The Raiders offense has been so good lately that it seems Murray is almost a lock to get a handful of carries inside the 10-yard line each week. He again cashed in a pair of short touchdowns (from 1-yard and 3-yards out) and now has 11 touchdowns on the season (most for any Raiders running back since 1990) with six of them coming in the past four weeks. Murray played 70% of the snaps and has seen an expanded role over the past two weeks with DeAndre Washington being a healthy scratch. The Raiders decision to activate just two true backs has shortened the rotation and helped Murray to two big fantasy games back-to-back.
2016 Week 14 vs KC (22 / 103 / 1 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
While it wasn't a huge fantasy day, Murray may have had his best game as a Raider. He was the lone bright spot for the offense. He ran with authority, made guys miss and showed better forward body lean to power through contact. He had a number of positive runs early, but the failures in the passing game caused drives to stall. On the final possession of the first half, the Raiders offense leaned on Murray and he responded with five carries for 26 yards. The highlights were an 11-yard run on third and short and a one-yard touchdown to get the Raiders back into the game. He was the whole offense in the third quarter, rushing for 35 yards while the passing offense managed just 18. Overall, Murray was a real bright spot and he could have some even bigger fantasy games in the next few weeks when Kelechi Osemele returns to the lineup.
2016 Week 15 vs SD (13 / 81 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 11 / 0 rec)
With DeAndre Washington active, the Raiders were back to a three-headed monster at running back. While Murray still received the biggest slice of the pie, he had just 14 of the 30 RB touches overall. Murray played exactly half of the snaps. A promising first quarter drive ended inside the Chargers 10-yard line on a Murray fumble. He was pushing the pile forward for a healthy gain up the middle and had the ball ripped free as he was falling to the ground. Murray did much of his damage on a pair of rushes in the two-minute drill before halftime. With the Chargers in prevent, he was able to rip off a combined 42 yards on back-to-back draw plays up the middle. Murray had his chances for a touchdown, but the Chargers won the battle at the line. With 1st-and-goal from the one-yard line, the Raiders ran Murray on 1st and 3rd down (with a play action incompletion in-between) and he was hit right at the line of scrimmage both times.
2016 Week 16 vs IND (15 / 40 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 11 / 0 rec)
Murray got the start and made arguably his best run and catch of the season on his first touch of the game. He took a short pass on 3rd-and-ten and made a filthy cut to elude a pair of would-be tacklers and pick up the first down. Murray received a pair of goal line carries in the first quarter but was twice stuffed shy of the end zone.
2016 Week 17 vs DEN (5 / 11 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 14 / 0 rec)
With Carr out, the Raiders clearly hoped to rely on the running game. But the Broncos stacked the box to force McGloin to beat them. Murray and the other Raiders backs suffered as the running game never got on track. Murray caught a dump off pass for 14 yards down the right sideline soon after the Broncos pushed their lead to 24 points.
2016 Week 18 vs HOU (12 / 39 / 1 rush, 4 / 1 / 12 / 0 rec)
Murray did nearly all of his damage on a short touchdown drive late in the first quarter. After a long punt return setup the Raiders at the Houston 38-yard line, Murray touched the ball on four of the five plays and rushed for 31 yards and a touchdown on the drive. He started off with a nice run down the left sideline for 18 yards and finished the drive off with a 2-yard touchdown off of right tackle. Aside from the productive two minute stretch, Murray was unable to get anything going. With no fear of the Raiders passing game, the Texans stacked the box and easily limited the Raiders running game. The rookies received extra snaps in the second half with the Raiders trailing by two or three scores the entire third and fourth quarters.
2015 Week 1 vs CIN (11 / 44 / 0 rush, 7 / 7 / 36 / 0 rec)
Murray ran hard and looked comfortable catching the ball out of the backfield, but had no help from the offensive line or the game plan. Until opposing defenses fear the Raiders ability to throw the ball deep, they will continue to crowd the box and take away Murray. The Raiders fell behind early and mostly abandoned the run game after the first quarter. While Murray caught every ball thrown his way, he wasn't impactful as a receiver. He picked up 3 yards on 3rd-and-8 the first drive. Then 11 yards on 3rd-and-14 the next drive. Opposing defenses will be happy to give up the short dump off throws to Murray on 3rd-and-long but those shouldn't be the choice so regularly going forward if the Raiders offense hopes to have any success.
2015 Week 2 vs BAL (15 / 65 / 1 rush, 3 / 3 / 22 / 0 rec)
Murray cashed in easily on a 1st-and-goal carry from the one-yard line in the second quarter. He ran off the right tackle and pushed through a would-be tackler for the score. Murray's most impressive run of the day went for only 5 yards. He was hit a couple yards deep in the backfield but ran through an arm tackle. He then deftly eluded an oncoming DT and danced his way past multiple Ravens. What should have been a loss of yardage was instead a healthy 5-yard gain on first down. Murray made a couple nice plays in the passing game on the final touchdown drive in the 2-minute offense. It's encouraging that he was used in that role instead of Roy Helu or Taiwan jones.
2015 Week 3 vs CLE (26 / 139 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 10 / 0 rec)
Murray was the centerpiece of the offense as the Raiders fed him early and often. He received a pair of carries inside the 10-yard line on the first drive but was stuffed. He also had a pair of carries inside the ten on the Raiders first touchdown drive that ended in an Andre Holmes touchdown after a play action fake to Murray froze the defense. In addition to his heavy workload on the ground, Murray received many of the 3rd-and-long snaps and played well in the passing game. He drew a holding penalty on a nice pass route in the first quarter that might have gone for a long gain if he hadn't been held. Later in the first half, Murray picked up 13 yards on a 3rd-and-long screen. The Browns sold out to stop the run early and Murray didn't find a lot of room to operate in the early going, but continued to run hard and did as well as could be expected. He finally found some room on his first carry of the second half. With the Raiders pinned deep, he burst up the middle and then cut it outside and used his impressive straight-line speed to outsprint a pair of Browns defenders to get the corner and raced for a 54-yard gain. Murray finally found the end zone early in the 4th quarter on a powerful 6-yard sprint right up the gut. He was hit at the 2-yard line and carried Barkevious Mingo the last two yards into the end zone. It was Murray's 7th carry of the game from inside the 10-yard line so he was due for a score. Aside from the one long gain, Murray's yards per carry average was below 4. But he moved the chains on all of his 3rd-and-short carries and had a solid all-around effort. The heavy usage should continue in future weeks; Murray should average over 20 touches per game as long as he can remain healthy.
2015 Week 4 vs CHI (16 / 49 / 0 rush, 5 / 3 / 12 / 0 rec)
The Raiders fed Murray often early in the game but the Bears were stacking the box and he found little space to run. He caught a short pass over the middle on the fourth drive of the game and was tackled hard. He got up favoring his right shoulder and left the game for the rest of the drive. He was back out there on the first play of the next drive and he split out wide in an empty set. Carr fired the quick pass in his direction and it bounced right off of Murray's chest into the arms of the oncoming defender for an interception. It was Murray's first hiccup as a pass catcher this season, but a costly one. He had another dropped pass to start the third quarter and just didn't look quite the same after the shoulder injury. Murray dropped a pitch toss from Derek Carr on a sweep play. Murray just took his eye off the ball as he started looking at the defenders and never caught the easy pitch. It was a very costly 4th-quarter turnover in a close game. After the fumble, the Raiders went with Roy Helu for the rest of the game. Despite playing poorly after the shoulder injury and getting pulled late, Murray still managed 19 touches, which appears to be near his floor going forward. It's unclear if the shoulder injury suffered in the first half will be an issue going forward and how much the injury contributed to the two turnovers later in the game.
2015 Week 5 vs DEN (13 / 39 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 18 / 0 rec)
Murray burst up the middle for 11 yards on the first play of the game. It was a promising start, but he managed only 28 more yards on his final 12 carries. Murray also had a pair of catches on the first drive of the game (one of which came on a 3rd-and-long). The Broncos made an early adjustment and regularly brought an eighth defender down into the box on first and second down when Murray was in the game. Murray's biggest gain of the day came on a swing pass out of the backfield. He made the first man miss and scooted down the sideline for 14 yards. Murray was used heavily in the first half and got a 1st-and-goal carry from the three-yard line. Carr tripped before the handoff and the timing of the play was disrupted with the stumbling handoff. On a 3rd-and-four with about four minutes left in the first half, it appeared that Murray stayed in to block instead of running a pass route, which led to an incompletion and punt. He did see two snaps (and a pair of rushes) early in the second half, but did not play after that. He did not have a single snap over the final 25 minutes of the game. It is unclear at this time whether he was benched due to a missed assignment or if he was still hurting from the mild shoulder injury he suffered in Week 4 (or some combination of being banged up and playing poorly). The Raiders never announced an injury, so it was a strange situation and it's possible that Murray is just in the doghouse. Aside from speculation about a possible missed assignment, there was little to fault with Murray's first-half play. He ran hard and picked up what was blocked or more on every touch he received.
2015 Week 7 vs SD (15 / 85 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 1 / 0 rec)
The Raiders quickly picked off a pass on the first drive of the game to set the offense up at the Chargers two-yard line. Murray was immediately given carries on 1st and 2nd down and plunged straight up the middle on the second attempt dashed through a huge hole for a two-yard touchdown. While he was able to extend the ball across the line, he ran too upright and almost didn't get in. On his first reception of the game he bobbled the ball badly (he caused an interception on a similar play a couple weeks ago), but was able to snag it after it bounced off his hands. Murray showed a nice burst at times, but didn't do anything special. He may continue to lose third down snaps to Taiwan Jones. Plus, the Raiders surprisingly turned to Roy Helu instead of Murray on a couple late drives when trying to run out the clock with a big lead.
2015 Week 8 vs NYJ (20 / 113 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 6 / 0 rec)
Murray had a relatively quiet 113 yards. He burst through a big hole off of right tackle for 26 yards on his first touch of the game and added a couple other big gains in the first half. Murray did not get many red zone opportunities, but that was simply due to the Raiders scoring three long passing touchdowns. On the one possession the Raiders did have a 1st-and-goal, Murray was in there. He received a carry on first down from the six-yard line and picked up a small gain before a Carr-to-Holmes touchdown pass on second down. Murray was very effective when the Raiders offense was aggressive early. But for the second straight week, he was not able to salt away the game on the ground in the fourth quarter. Some of that can be chalked up to facing the stingy Jets run defense. But Murray's upright running style and the Raiders somewhat finesse run game are also to blame. Murray and the Raiders offense have looked great in getting off to quick starts and opening up big leads, but it will be interesting to see if they can come up with some better answers going forward about how they want to finish off wins in the fourth when playing from ahead.
2015 Week 9 vs PIT (17 / 96 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / -1 / 0 rec)
Murray took his first carry of the game for a 44-yard gain. He went straight up the middle through a small crease and then turned on the jets and headed down the sideline. He's one of the league's best when he can build a head of steam and get downhill. Murray lost the ball on a third-down reception where he stumbled, got up and then got hit. The play was initially called a fumble recovery and a touchdown by the Steelers, but on review was overturned as the Steelers defender did not re-establish both feet in bounds before the scoop and score and the Raiders retained the ball. It was still another poor play in the passing game from Murray and we've seen him struggle in that area over the past month. Most of the Raiders scores came from longer passing plays, but after a long pass gave the Raiders first-and-goal at the one, Murray got first crack. He was stood up just shy of the goal line. It was his only chance as the Raiders converted the next snap into a passing touchdown off of play action to Murray. Midway through the third quarter, Murray took a pitch sweep toward the left sideline and received a helmet to the head from the Steelers defensive back. He looked to be concussed and fumbled the ball. He did not return and is currently going through the league's concussion protocol.
2015 Week 10 vs MIN (12 / 48 / 0 rush, 5 / 5 / 29 / 0 rec)
There was little room to run for Murray early, but he made the most out of his opportunities. He had an impressive short run near the end of the first quarter; he was hit near the line but kept churning his legs and pushed forward for a five-yard gain. He had another impressive effort on the next drive when he took an off-tackle run for 14 yards; it initially looked like he was stopped for a moderate gain but he kept his legs churning and a few offensive lineman got behind him to keep pushing the pile forward for the big gainer. Murray generally found little room to run on the day. He was more involved in the passing game than in recent weeks, but was unable to find much room to run after short dump off passes either.
2015 Week 11 vs DET (13 / 28 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
With the exception of a 16-yard run in the second quarter, Murray had very little room to run all day. Murray salvaged his fantasy day with a 1-yard touchdown run. With the Raiders set up with first-and-goal inside the three-yard line, Marcel Reese was in at tailback and received carries on first and second down (and came up just short of the end zone on first dwon). Murray finally came in on third down and was able to get into the end zone on an off-tackle run.
2015 Week 12 vs TEN (22 / 59 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / 23 / 0 rec)
Murray continues to be less involved in the passing game than early in the season. He had another bad drop on his first target of the game on a swing pass. He did bounce back with a big gain on a screen later in the first quarter though. He caught the ball behind a couple blockers, kept his balance through an attempted shoestring-tackle and almost beat the last defender for a touchdown, but was tripped up after gaining 23 yards. In the running game, Murray again found little room to operate and did not do a great job of falling forward when hit. His upright running-style often leads to him getting stood up at first contact and gaining two yards where a more compact back might pick up four yards. The Raiders offense continues to evolve into more of a pass-heavy offense and Murray's role has decreased as the season has progressed.
2015 Week 13 vs KC (20 / 86 / 1 rush, 6 / 4 / 11 / 0 rec)
Murray showed off his speed as he broke off a long run on the first drive down the right sideline. He finished off the drive with a short third-down touchdown run that was initially ruled down at the one-yard line, but was overturned after a Raiders challenge. Murray was hit low at around the two-yard line but was able to dive forward and extend the ball across the goal line a fraction of a second before his knees hit. On the drive, Olawale received the first goal-to-go carry, but Murray got carries on second and third down from inside the five. Murray ran Murray got another goal-to-go carry later in the game from the seven-yard line but was stopped for a short gain. Despite some struggles in short-yardage situations, Murray remains the primary goal line back for the Raiders.
2015 Week 14 vs DEN (16 / 27 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Murray and the Raiders offensive line had a rough game. Murray was consistently hit at or near the line of scrimmage and his longest run of the game was just seven yards. Murray is especially ineffective in these scenarios because he struggles when he is not able to build up a head of steam.
2015 Week 15 vs GB (21 / 78 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 2 / 0 rec)
While Murray's 80 yards on 22 touches does not make for a particularly impressive line; he had his best game of the second-half of the season against the Packers. Murray ran hard and consistently maximized the available yardage. On one play that looked sure to turn into a big loss, he was hit five yards behind the line of scrimmage, but was able to bounce off the tackler, make a move and get outside for a one-yard gain. He also flashed his elite speed on the rare plays he was able to find a hole and get to the second level. While the performance was generally encouraging, Murray's lack of usage in the passing game makes him touchdown-dependent for fantasy purposes and the Raiders line does not block well against stacked fronts near the goal line. Murray received multiple goal-to-go carries against Green Bay but the blocking never gave him a chance to get anywhere near the end zone.
2015 Week 17 vs KC (11 / 31 / 0 rush, 6 / 4 / 25 / 0 rec)
Murray ran hard and got the most out of what was blocked. Unfortunately, against the Chiefs tough run defense, there was often little room to operate. The Chiefs were often able to force Murray to run East-West and string out the play for little-to-no-gain. Murray's biggest weakness this season has been his inability to convert in short yardage situations. Facing a key 3rd-and-1 deep in Chiefs territory, Murray was stuffed for a loss. Much of the blame for the consistent failures in these situations lies with the Raiders mediocre offensive line, but Murray's height and upright running style also has hurt him in these situations where it often comes down to the old adage "low man wins." Murray was slightly more involved in the passing game again, though two of his catches came on dump offs in the final minute with the Raiders trying to gain enough yardage for a desperation "Hail Mary" attempt.
2014 Week 2 vs HOU (1 / 6 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Despite the fact that the Raiders were without Maurice Jones-Drew, Murray saw very little work and didn't get his first touch until garbage time.
2014 Week 3 vs NE (3 / 1 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Murray saw a little more action than he did last week but he saw no success at all. He was given two cracks at short yardage and was stuffed on consecutive plays. Like McFadden, he saw very little daylight when he was given the ball.
2014 Week 10 vs DEN (2 / 4 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)
Murray saw the most action he's seen all year, but didn't do much with it. His first touch was a 7 yard reception that could have been a much bigger gain if he'd beaten the one man he had to in open space. Murray also received two 4th quarter carries but he couldn't generate any momentum on either due to the lack of blocking.
2014 Week 11 vs SD (4 / 43 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 16 / 0 rec)
Murray was by far the most successful back in the game, and nearly all of that came on two plays late in the 3rd quarter. On his first carry he made a nice jump cut at the line then another cut at the second level and burst into the secondary for a 14 yard gain. On the very next play he got better blocking and cutback before outrunning the Chargers defense for a 23 yard gain. Murray also saw some involvement in the passing game, which included a bad drop on a slant route.
2014 Week 12 vs KC (4 / 112 / 2 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Murray looked like a beast for the short time he was on the field. He left in the second quarter after taking a vicious shot to the head and missed the rest of the game with a concussion. Murray's first touchdown came on a designed run off left guard. Murray bounced the run outside and outran the Chiefs defense into the end zone. On his second touchdown he squeezed through a small hole, made one cut to beat a linebacker and was gone. No Chiefs defender even had a chance to catch him as he raced 90 yards for the score. It was astonishing how much quicker he was to the hole than anyone that has run the ball for Oakland this year.
2014 Week 14 vs SF (23 / 76 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 9 / 0 rec)
Murray didn't get the start, but he did see the lion's share of the touches and proved without a doubt who the best back in Oakland is. He got off to an inconspicuous start, falling down after his first catch in the flats and picking up just two yards on his first two carries. Murray broke through at the end of the first quarter on a toss right. He cut back at the perfect time then burst up the field behind good blocking for a 15 yard run. Murray also showed good vision at the end of the run to pick up 4 yards that didn't look like much. Murray's only real struggles came when he was forced to stop in the backfield and couldn't get started again. He also lost a long reception later in the game due to a push off. Murray iced the game late in the 4th quarter with a 16 yard run off the left edge. He possibly could have scored on the play but wisely slid to the ground to force the 49ers to use the rest of their timeouts.
2014 Week 15 vs KC (12 / 59 / 0 rush, 6 / 2 / 17 / 0 rec)
Murray was unable to match his last performance against Kansas City but he still flashed his potential. His 25 yard run in the first quarter included a well-timed cutback before he ran through an arm tackle and into the secondary. Murray also showed good leg drive on several inside rushes, including a 3rd and 1 carry where he picked up the first down despite no push from the offensive line. Murray was not good in the passing game and almost coughed up one sure reception to a defensive lineman for an interception. He did pick up a couple of receptions late in the game on desperation flips from Carr, but was unimpressive in that phase. Murray's production was limited greatly by the game script as he had only three carries after halftime.
2014 Week 16 vs BUF (23 / 86 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 22 / 0 rec)
Murray struggled early on. His offensive line wasn't creating much in the way of space and Murray looked hesitant and indecisive. He had only four yards on seven carries before an injury to Marcel Dareus opened up a little room. Murray took his 8th carry through a big hole up the middle for a 15 yard gain. On his very next carry he broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and two more at the second level for a nine yard gain. Later in the half Murray picked up 19 yards on a pass in the flats as he flashed good vision and his trademark explosion. On the first offensive play of the second half Murray dismissed a tackler at the line and exploded into the secondary for a 25 yard gain. Two plays later he picked up 17 yard through a huge hole up the middle. That was the last of Murray's explosive runs and he failed to pick up a first down with three straight carries late in the game.
2014 Week 17 vs DEN (10 / 37 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 60 / 0 rec)
Considering the game script and Oakland's inability to pass the ball Murray had a really nice game. He did a lot of his damage through the air, starting with a 10 yard gain on a 3rd and 15 screen Later in the first half he turned a short out into a 46 yard gain with a great burst up the sideline and a broken tackle. On the ground Murray made several well timed cuts and ran with authority. Just before the big pass play he had a powerful run off left guard for a 7 yard gain, dragging tacklers the last couple of yards. Murray also showed great vision on an inside handoff bouncing outside then cutting back in at the perfect time for a 7 yard gain and a first down. The Raiders spent the 4th quarter playing catch up, limiting Murray's touches.