Raiders RB Darren McFadden: Is Run DMC for Real, or Was 2010 Just a Fantasy?

2010 Review

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The jury is still out on the guy because frankly, one good year out of three injury-shortened seasons does not provide a large enough sample size to make a proper assessment.  That said, it does look like the real Darren McFadden has finally shown up, and none too late for the rabid, yet faithful Raider Nation.

McFadden was originally selected in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft (4th overall) after Oakland Raiders owner, Al Davis, fell in love with his speed at the NFL Scouting Combine (he ran a 4.33 in the 40).  However, considering his lofty draft status, Darren’s first two seasons in the league would turn out to be a huge disappointment.  Not only were his two-year totals of 856 rushing yards, 1,386 total yards and five TDs pedestrian at best, but “Run DMC” also proved to be both injury-prone (25 games played, 12 started out of 32 games) and extremely soft as a runner (3.77 YPC).

In spite of what was looking like an obvious mis-evaluation of talent, Al Davis refused to admit failure and stayed firm in his belief of the young running back, which brings us to 2010.

Heading into a pivotal third NFL season, McFadden was slated to split time in the backfield with fellow running back Michael Bush…that is, until Bush injured his thumb in the preseason and was forced out of action for the team’s first two games.

Enter Darren McFadden.

In Week One at Tennessee, with Bush on the sidelines, the Raiders had no choice but to depend on McFadden to carry the load.  Knowing his future was likely on the line, Darren would respond well to the assignment by rushing for 95 yards on 18 carries (5.3 YPC) while catching six balls out of the backfield for another 55 yards and a TD.  Not too bad of a debut for the speedster as the team’s featured back; a debut that would get even better in Wee...

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