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Raiders RB McFadden handling heavy workload

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Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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Posted Sept. 27, 2010 @ 6:22 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

The Raiders' record fell to 1-2 on Sunday after PK Sebastian Janikowski missed a would-be game-winning field goal from 32 yards out in the final seconds, but one Raider continued his impressive early-season showing.

RB Darren McFadden gained more than 100 yards for the third consecutive week and is third in the league in rushing yards. McFadden rushed 25 times — even with RB Michael Bush active for the first time this season — for 105 yards and a touchdown, and also made two catches for 17 yards. Bush only had three carries for 13 yards.

McFadden is 12 rushing yards away from matching his 2009 total of 357 and he's only 41 carries away from establishing a career high in that category.

Only Chris Johnson (75) has more rushing attempts than McFadden (73).

The PFW Spin

McFadden, who struggled to stay healthy in his first two seasons, is now the focal point of Oakland's offense and his quick transition into the role has surprised many observers. Whether he can hold up over the course of a full season when he's getting close to 30 touches every game is a big question, but the Raiders don't seem too concerned about overworking him, which is a strategy that could come back to bite them.

Then again, taking the ball out of McFadden's hands to protect him from injury when he's clearly the team's most dynamic skilled player isn't an approach head coach Tom Cable can afford to take with his team in an early-season hole.

It looked like Bush and McFadden would be splitting carries, or that Bush would be the featured back, before Bush broke his thumb in a preseason game against the 49ers. McFadden has been up to the task as the workhorse, though, and Cable is going to ride the hot hand as long as he can.

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