The Oakland Raiders were able to lay claim to one of the best running backs in the NFL and a potential MVP candidate for the first half of the 2011 season. Less than half way through the season, Darren McFadden was on his way to the best year of his career. Before getting injured, McFadden was leading the NFL in rushing yards, boasted an impressive 5.4 yards per carry, and was finally living up to his billing coming out of college.
After a breakout season in 2010 where McFadden put up over 1,100 yards and 7 touchdowns while averaging 5.2 yards per carry, hopes were high that McFadden would take it one step further and claim a spot among the top running backs in the NFL. Six weeks in tot he season, it looked like McFadden was primed to do just that until a lisfranc injury ended his season early.
In 2012, MCFadden may have an even better opportunity to succeed than he did in 2011. If Carson Palmer and his young receivers can get the passing game going, McFadden will see a lot more room to run since defenses will not be able to stack the box as they have in the past. After the past two seasons, there should be no question about whether or not McFadden has the talent to be one of the best running backs in the NFL. The only question that remains is whether or not McFadden can stay healthy for an entire season. If he can, he will be a shoe in for the Pro Bowl.