Darren McFadden, with 16 yards on his last 18 carries, looked none the worse for wear.
“I’m doing pretty good, just working to get the offense back on track and keep pushing forward,” McFadden told reporters Thursday.
McFadden echoed coach Tom Cable’s contention that the biggest thing missing from the Raiders running game are chances to run.
The Pittsburgh game got out of hand in terms of the score, and against Miami, the Dolphins held the ball for nearly 42 minutes, with Oakland running only 45 plays.
“That’s one of the things we’ve been working on, trying to stay away from, is falling behind,” McFadden said. “That’s what’s been happening to us – you fall behind, then you know you have to throw the ball.”
The McFadden that was atop the NFL averaging 108.0 yards per game heading into the bye week is now down to 85.9.
“We really haven’t ran the ball much at all,” McFadden said. “It’s one of those things you gotta just try to get going, get everybody in the groove and try to keep running it.”
Tight end Zach Miller agrees with McFadden in that the Raiders need to get back to their roots.
“I think obviously the biggest thing is our running game,” Miller said. “That makes everything work for our offense. It makes play action open, it makes throwing the ball a little bit easier. Once we get that running game back on track we’ll be all right.”
Miller’s health _ he’s battled a torn plantar fascia and now a severe contusion _ has also played a role in slowing the Raiders’ offense.
“Zach, he’s a great asset to the team. He takes a lot of pressure off us,” McFadden said. “Guys have to look out for him so, you know, you can’t just load the box up and say they’re going to commit to stopping the run because he’s a threat with the passing game.”
Miller said the injuries are frustrating but “getting more manageable every week.”
More to come . . .