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NFL Pro Bowl 2011 Snubs: Did Darren McFadden Deserve Better?

The announcement of the 2011 NFL Pro Bowl rosters resulted in the usual assortment of worthy selections and random snubs. The Pro Bowl gets its share of ridicule so it’s hard to get too worked up over snubs. Nonetheless, snubs exist for the Bay Area teams.

We already discussed snubs of 49ersTakeo Spikes (here) and Vernon Davis (here), and I thought we would move on to a possible Oakland Raiders snub. The Raiders saw Nnamdi Asomugha, Shane Lechler, and Richard Seymour selected as starters/reserves. They also have alternates in Darren McFadden, Sebastian Janikowski, Tommy Kelly, and Zach Miller.

Amongst that group, I think an argument could be made that Darren McFadden most deserved to be at least a reserve. The three AFC running backs are Jamaal Charles, Arian Foster, and Maurice Jones-Drew. All three are incredibly worthy, but McFadden’s big play ability and overall contribution to the Raiders offense deserves more mention.

Among AFC running backs, McFadden was fourth in yards per game, second in yards per carry among RBs with at least 200 carries, and seventh in touchdowns. However, amongst running backs he was the sole number one in rushes of 20+ yards and tied for first for rushes of 40+ yards. More importantly, he was second among all running backs, behind only Arian Foster, in average total yards from scrimmage per game.

In reality, it’s not a particularly big snub because Charles, Foster, and MJD are all very worthy. However, it almost seems like there should have been a fourth slot for Darren McFadden. Of course, given the injury replacements we always see there is a good chance he ends up on the team in that capacity.