Darren McFadden: Mr. Inside?

October, 28, 2010
10/28/10
2:10
PM ET
There isn’t much Darren McFadden is doing wrong in his breakout NFL season.

After floundering in his first two NFL’s season, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2008 draft is making a major impact for the 3-4 Oakland Raiders. The former Arkansas speedster has 557 rushing yards in five games. He missed two games with a hamstring injury and then came back to rush for 165 yards on 16 carries and he scored four touchdowns in the Raiders’ 59-14 romp over Denver.

McFadden is averaging 5.5 yards per carry on 101 carries. His yardage total has surpassed both of his previous two years' totals.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, McFadden is enjoying his best year by adding a new wrinkle to his game. He’s running well up the middle of the field. Known as an explosive outside runner, McFadden is attacking the middle with gusto this season, and he is showing he can be more than a change-of-pace option.

He is averaging 2.3 yards per rush more up the middle than he did in his first two NFL seasons. His success up the gut is making him an even better outside threat. He is averaging 5.4 yards per rush up the middle and 5.6 per tote on the outside.

Rushers who can shred defenses both inside and outside are rare. It seems McFadden is becoming one of those players . It’s this type of balance that is helping McFadden become the player he was expected to be when he entered the draft.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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