From Run DMC to Sputtering DMC at the quarter-pole

October 2, 2012, 3:07 pm
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ALAMEDA -- And now, for our regular check in on the Raiders' new zone-blocking schemeAfter four games of the 2011 season, running behind the Raiders' predominantly power-blocking scheme, Darren McFadden was looking like an early-season NFL MVP candidate. He was averaging 6.2 yards per carry in rushing for 468 yards on 75 carries with three touchdowns.But after four games of the 2012 season, and behind the Raiders' new ZBS, McFadden looks nothing like the game-breaker he was early last year. Consider: he is averaging just 3.5 yards per carry with 201 yards on 57 attempts with one touchdown. In fact, take away his 64-yard scoring jaunt against Pittsburgh, and McFadden's average drops to a middling 2.5 yards.RELATED: Darren McFadden career stats 2012 game logs
The quarter-pole of a 16-game season is a good enough sample size to start making intelligent observations about trends and such, right? So surely, McFadden must be frustrated. Thing is, he's not going to say if he is or is not."It's one of those things you know you just got to keep running," he said Monday. "With the zone scheme, like I said, it's going to hit here and there but you just have to keep running. Stick with it and keep pounding the ball."Asked if he noticed teams stacking the box with more players at the line, McFadden shrugged."Nah, I can't say if it is or it isn't," he said. "Guys are getting out there and making plays. We just have to keep executing and going out there and moving the ball."Except, they're not doing much of that, either.