The Oakland Raiders ran all over the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars on their way to a 19-9 victory. Running back Darren McFadden had his biggest game in recent memory by gaining 129 yards on the ground for 6.8 yards per carry. McFadden’s success could be attributed to the presence of dual threat quarterback Terrelle Pryor.
We finally got to see McFadden break big runs in open space which has not happened in a long time. Offensive coordinator Greg Olsen decided to use McFadden in variety of ways against the Jaguars. For the first time that I can remember McFadden was used as a quarterback in the wild cat formation. With a weak offensive line, the Raiders must find a way to get McFadden into open space.
For the first time all season the read-option worked great for the TP2-DMC combination. During a two play period in the second quarter, Pryor ran the read-option to run 27 yards and on the very next play Pryor gave the ball to McFadden who ran for 26 yards. With two explosive players in the backfield, the defense only needs to hesitate for half a second before McFadden and Pryor are running by them.
Hopefully, McFadden’s great performance on Sunday was not just a case of playing the putrid Jaguars. I have been critical of McFadden over the last year because of his mediocre performances but he might have made me eat crow yesterday.
Not only will a great running game help Pryor throw the ball but it will also allow the defense to rest. We all know how weak our defensive line looked this preseason without their starters, so a running game that kills clock will help the big boys up front catch a breather.