I wrote an article yesterday saying that Darren McFadden is no longer a star player for the Oakland Raiders. Tonight I re-watched the game film of McFadden’s week one performance and my opinion on him has not changed. On Sunday McFadden carried the ball 17 times for 48 yards which game him a pathetic 2.8 yards per carry. McFadden was also not a major factor in the passing game as he had three receptions for 18 yards (Although he was an inch away from having a HUGE touchdown at the end of the third quarter).
Anybody who breaks down Darren McFadden’s poor performance on Sunday must take into consideration that McFadden is running behind the worst offensive line in the NFL right now. There were many times that McFadden was literally swallowed up the moment he got the ball in his hands. However, there were also a few occasions where McFadden looked content running the ball into the pile when there were open holes. I did not see any explosion from McFadden throughout the game as he looked like a shell of the great running back we all used to see.
What made McFadden’s performance so disappointing was his lack of production in the receiving game. There was a play at the beginning of the second quarter that really summed up McFadden’s day. On a big 3rd down and 6 play, Pryor found McFadden out in the flat for short completion, McFadden had to get by Colts safety Antoine Bethea for the first down but McFadden was immediately tackled two yards short of the first down mark. Although Bethea is a solid player in this league, McFadden should have gotten by him to get the first down. Even on the overturned touchdown reception, McFadden bobbled the ball for a quick second before stepping out of bounds.
Hopefully, McFadden has a big game in front of the Raider Nation against the Jaguars on Sunday. If McFadden doesn’t have a rebound performance, the Raiders might have a problem at running back this year.