December 21, 2008
There's a 1,000-yard rookie running back just named to the Pro Bowl. He's named Chris Johnson and he plays for the Titans. Another 1,000-yard rookie was made a Pro Bowl alternate. That's Steve Slaton, who plays for the Texans. A third rookie running back has made his own 1,000-yard debut. He's Matt Forte of the Bears.
Wondering where the Raiders' Darren McFadden ranks among his peers heading into Game No. 15 against the visiting Texans on Sunday?
When it comes to rushing yards and offensive touches, the No. 4 overall draft pick is No. 7 among rookie running backs.
This isn't what McFadden dreamed when the Raiders picked him ahead of all the other running backs in April. He was supposed to be the next Adrian Peterson, supposed to make a rookie splash, not be the guy ranked 42nd in NFL rushing behind Ravens rookie Ray Rice.
McFadden's problem is they hardly call on him. Sure, he had turf toe, but that cost him only three games.
He's been healthy enough to play the past five weeks but has spent more time on the sideline than on the field.
Every day, it seems interim coach Tom Cable is asked why McFadden doesn't get more offensive touches. Every time, Cable's explanations lead to more questions.
Two games ago, McFadden had one carry and two catches in a 34-7 loss to the Chargers. Cable, who calls the plays, said it was because "it's the way the game went."
Sunday against the Patriots, McFadden didn't get on the field until the fourth possession, with the Raiders trailing 21-0. Again, Cable blamed it on the "flow of the game."
"If we weren't going three-and-out, he would have been involved," Cable said.
Yeah, but maybe if McFadden was more involved, they wouldn't be going three-and-out, goes the chicken versus egg argument.
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