Oakland Raiders 2011 Season Review: Darren McFadden, Michael Bush Provide Tale Of Two Halves

At the beginning of the 2010 season, Oakland appeared to have one of the strongest RB corps of any team in the NFL. As it turned out, they would need every bit of depth they had. Darren McFadden, who had been enjoying his best season as a professional, suffered a Lisfranc injury at the beginning of Oakland's Week 7 game against Kansas City and never played again during the year.

Michael Bush filled in admirably as the feature back, rushing for nearly 1000 yards and scoring 8 total touchdowns. However, he doesn't have the top-end speed or elusiveness that McFadden possesses and the running game wasn't quite as effective without both of them involved.

Taiwan Jones showed flashes in the preseason, but suffered an injury during the regular season and never got on track even as a complimentary back to Bush. He finished with only 73 rushing yards on the year. He does have a bright future and should the Raiders part with either Bush or McFadden anytime soon, Jones has the ability to step into a featured role.

it is sobering to think how the season may have been different if McFadden had remained healthy, and even more so to know that such a talented and promising player has such a history of injury. However, McFadden did gain over 600 yards in only six full games of work, and we know that if he ever does put together a full season it will rank up there with the best seasons ever produced by a Raider running back.

Overall, the Raider RBs put together a good year in which they were given a lot of work in a rushing-oriented offense. Defenses knew the Raiders were going to run, but they still could not stop it. However, the injury bug proved too much to overcome for the team.

2011 Grade: B

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