Give Darren McFadden the Ball

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Sep 15, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden (20) runs with the ball during the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

The Best the Raiders Have

Darren McFadden is clearly the best running back on the team as his four yards per carry is almost double that of Jones-Drew. In the preseason, I pointed out that Jones-Drew had either lost his burst or McFadden made him look that way. Then many took the bait when Jones-Drew broke 40-yard touchdown run in the preseason against the Green Bay Packers.

But the only thing that happened was he broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage on a 3rd-and-1 and there was no one there after that. That took no burst whatsoever as he jogged in because the whole defense was at the line of scrimmage. Then again, Justin Smith and LaMarr Woodley, two of the other vets the Raiders brought in, were preseason Pro Bowlers too.

But now, in the regular season it looks like McFadden has the burst of 2011 back while Jones-Drew has lost a step or two. If you look at opening week against the New York Jets, McFadden averaged 3.8 to Jones-Drew’s 1.2 against a tough run defense. The difference was McFadden’s burst got him through small holes that closed on Jones-Drew and he made around the corner while Jones-Drew was caught in the backfield running the same play.