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In Oakland, the return of Run DMC

Darren McFaddenMcFaddenMuch to the delight of Oakland Raiders fans everywhere, Darren McFadden seems to finally be living up to the hype. His four touchdowns Sunday gave him six for the season, already one more touchdown than he had combined over the last two seasons.

And McFadden needed just five games in 2010 to set a new season-high in rush yards with 557, surpassing the 499 rush yards he totaled in 13 games in his rookie year of 2008.

Darren McFadden Career

One key to his breakout season is that the ball security issues which haunted McFadden in his first two campaigns appear to be behind him, with just one fumble among his 119 touches this season.

Protecting the ball has also given him more opportunities, as he's averaging 20 rushes per game, more than double his workload in each of the last two seasons.

Darren McFadden
Rushing Up the Middle

Known as an upright runner, McFadden has been really effective this season when asked to pound the rock at the heart of the defense. He has earned the tough yards between the tackles, where he is averaging 5.4 yards per rush on attempts up the middle, more than two yards better than last year.

It’s still early, and these numbers could take a turn for the worse as the season wears on. But so far, the explosive back the Raiders expected when they selected McFadden as the fourth overall pick in 2008 seems to now be more complete.