In New England’s week 4 match-up against the Oakland Raiders, their ability to stop running back Darren McFadden, may be the key to victory. However, that is easier said than done. The Raiders tailback is leading the NFL in rushing so far in the 2011 season and has no signs of slowing down. Here are a few statistics to keep in mind for Sunday. -


Vince Wilfork and the Patriots defensive line’s ability to contain Darren McFadden is crucial on Sunday. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
  • He has rushed for an NFL leading 393-yards on 61 carries, with 3 TDs this season.
  • His 6.4 yard-per-carry (ypc) average are also tops in the league among running backs.
  • The 11 passes for 84 yards McFadden has caught this season, bring his total yardage to 477 on the year. Coincidentally,  Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker, also has the same amount of yards that lead the NFL (excluding quarterbacks).

Analysis:

Darren McFadden is now in his fourth year of the NFL, after being drafted out of Arkansas in the first-round by the Raiders. The 24-year-old running back emerged as one of the league’s best tailbacks last season and has continued to dominate games. At 6,2, 210 pounds, McFadden is extremely strong, but still has incredible speed and vision.

One of the key’s to winning this game for the Patriots is undoubtably the ability to contain McFadden. While these statistics may make that out to be a tough task, it is not impossible. Yes, the Patriots defense has struggled this year, but Bill Belichick has always done a great job of taking away what opposing team’s do best.

I believe the Pats do enough to control the run game, resulting in another New England victory. Look for my full pre-game thoughts and score prediction later today.

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