Raiders not giving McFadden much room to run

Posted Nov. 29, 2010 @ 6:29 p.m.
Posted By Dan Parr

Just when it looked like the Raiders were ready to battle for the AFC West title, they have fallen below .500 after losing two in a row since their Week 10 bye. They'll face the streaking Chargers in San Diego in Week 13 and would fall two games behind San Diego in the standings with another loss.

Head coach Tom Cable switched starting quarterbacks, playing Bruce Gradkowski over Jason Campbell, against the Dolphins on Sunday, but it didn't help. Oakland scored only one offensive touchdown in the 33-17 loss and gained only 263 yards.

The ground game was completely ineffective (12 carries for 16 yards) and the Raiders held the ball for only 18:22.

After a hot start, RB Darren McFadden has rushed for just 16 yards on 18 carries in the past two games and the Oakland Tribune reported that the coaching staff has privately voiced concerns that he's not running the way he did earlier in the season.

The Dolphins held McFadden to two or fewer yards on six of his eight carries, including four carries that lost yards, and he didn't have a rush of more than six yards. He had a game-high seven receptions for 63 yards, but didn't get a single carry in the fourth quarter.

The PFW Spin

It was hard to tell if McFadden had the same burst he showed earlier in the season because he had very little room to run against Miami. The Raiders did an awful job of blocking for him and he didn't have a run for positive yardage until the third quarter.

When McFadden made a catch and had open space in front of him, he showed that he's still elusive and made a couple defenders miss on a screen pass in the second quarter. He picked up 20 yards after making the grab in the backfield.

Coaches may see some things in practice that lead them to believe that the wear and tear has caught up with McFadden, who is on pace to have more carries this season (244) than he did in his first two seasons combined (217), but the bigger problem on Sunday was the Raiders' failure to execute when called upon to block.