With Darren McFadden it feels like we’ll forever be playing the what-if game. In 2011 Run DMC was on his way to an NFL rushing title, a franchise record-setting season and had the potential to be in the MVP mix. But all of that came to an end in classic McFadden fashion no thanks to a mysterious foot injury that ended his season even though he was never placed on IR.
Raider Nation has been here before. Many of the things we’re saying now about McFadden we were saying back when with Bo Jackson. If only Bo/Darren could play a full season. If only Bo/Darren could remain healthy.
In the case of Jackson it was one injury that brought to a close the greatest career that never was. For McFadden it’s just been a series of freakish injuries that don’t end careers so much as they delay them.
In 2012 about all of Oakland’s hopes rest on the legs of McFadden. If he’s healthy the Raiders have a great chance at making a return to the postseason. 9 wins could still be enough to take the AFC West and you feel a healthy Run DMC could be good for a win or two by himself.
The difference this year is that McFadden will finally lineup behind Carson Palmer and will be doing so in a zone blocking scheme. Early in his career McFadden played in the same scheme during Greg Knapp’s first tenure in Oakland. The results weren’t great but there was plenty more that factored into how those Raiders fared.
These Raiders are a burgeoning offensive juggernaut. There are plenty of ifs when it comes to both Palmer and McFadden. Still, you just can’t ignore the prospects of healthy Run DMC combining with a high powered passing attack to form an offense with more unstoppable than Tebowmania.