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Raiders vs. Jaguars: Could Mike Goodson help jumpstart the Raiders' running game?

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Can Oakland Raiders backup Mike Goodson have another big game after he broke out against the Atlanta Falcons?

Chris Trotman - Getty Images

The Oakland Raiders fully expected to have a strong run game in 2012, and so far, that has been the biggest disappointment of the season. Darren McFadden started off 2011 on pace to have an MVP year before getting injured. After he was injured, Michael Bush stepped in and finished the season with just under 1,000 yards with 7 touchdowns. Despite all of the changes during the off season, most Raiders fans thought that if they could count on anything, it would be a strong run game. Through the first six weeks of the season, the Raiders are the third worst rushing offense in the league.

Through most of those first six weeks, the Raiders were without a backup running back that was having any impact. Through the first couple of games, Dennis Allen said that he was still deciding who would play the role of number two back for the Raiders, Taiwan Jones or Mike Goodson. Then, Goodson suffered a hamstring injury before week 3 that prevented him from playing much. But in week 4, he began to show what Reggie McKenzie saw in him when he traded for him in the off season. He only ran the ball three times, but he averaged 7.3 yards on those touches. Then, last weekend against the Atlanta Falcons, Goodson had four rushes for 59 yards, averaging over 14 yards per carry.

Goodson has also shown that he is a threat in the passing game. In week 2, Goodson caught 3 passes for 83 yards and picked up 37 yards on 1 catch last weekend. After a scary neck injury during training camp and a hamstring injury early in the year, Goodson finally looks like he is at full health and is ready to carry a heavier load. If Goodson can keep being productive in relief of Darren McFadden, it will allow the Raiders to rest McFadden more in hopes that a lighter load will allow him to run harder and not worry about being worn down during a game.