In last Sunday’s face off between the Oakland Raiders and the Indianapolis Colts, star running back Darren McFadden struggled to gain yards throughout the course of the game. On 17 carries, McFadden gained just 48 yards – 2.8 yards per carry.
McFadden was unable to breakaway for any massive gains, however he did bully his way in at the goal line for a Raiders score.
The offensive line did a much better job than anticipated, considering offensive tackles Jared Veldheer and Menelik Watson are sidelined due to injury. However, they did not create many holes for McFadden to burst out of. The pass protection was certainly better than expected, but the run blocking needs to improve in order for McFadden to get going.
The good news is that Oakland’s star player is healthy and ready to go for Sunday against Jacksonville, a team who struggles containing the run game and the pass attack.
The read-option was very effective against Indianapolis, as quarterback Terrelle Pryor had a huge day on the ground rushing for 112 yards. Much of those gains were due to the read-option, although Pryor needs to utilize McFadden more.
The former Buckeye did an outstanding job running all over the Colts defense. He absolutely tore them into pieces on the ground, breaking a franchise record by a quarterback. Nevertheless, I believe he could of gotten McFadden more involved with the option.
Pryor seemed to tuck and run every time, whereas he should have tossed to McFadden. The greatness of the read-option is the dual threat, with the running back and the quarterback. It can keep a defense on their toes, if it’s executed properly.
The way Pryor went about keeping the ball every time on the option can potentially open the door for McFadden to go bursting in to in the future. Now, when teams watch film on the Raiders, they’ll see that Pryor likes to keep the ball on the option. Pryor can now start distributing to McFadden more, as the defense will be focused on him.
There are numerous ways to get a defense on their heels with the dual threats of the explosive of Pryor and McFadden. Both have tremendous speed, quickness, and strength.
I hope to see McFadden become more involved with the option this Sunday against Jacksonville. The Raiders can break down the Jaguars defense with the utilization of McFadden and Pryor on the read-option.