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Raiders, Darren McFadden look to solve running woes


Maybe it has something to do with seeing their Bay Area brethren running rampant over opponents. Whatever the reason, the Oakland Raiders are preaching a renewed commitment to the ground game.

Across the waters, the San Francisco 49ers possess a stable of backs that lead the NFL with 196.2 rushing yards per game. It's not this pretty in Oakland, where the Raiders rank dead last with just 60.8 rushing yards per contest, leaving fantasy owners and fans asking what has become of Darren McFadden.

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Oakland's best running back is healthy for a change, but he's not producing. His 201 yards on the season have come in games where the Raiders have averaged 2.3, 1.6, 5.7 and 3.5 yards per carry, respectively. They also rank last in the NFL with 71 carries (New England's up-tempo offense, by comparison, has 191).

Something's not working, but Raiders running backs coach Kelly Skipper told the San Francisco Chronicle the solution is to run the ball more, not less.

"We have to get more attempts," Skipper said. "You'll see a big change. The more reps you get, the better you get at it."

"We're not discouraged," Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer said. "I know a lot of people outside of this facility are discouraged in our run game, but we're going to continue to work at it. We're not going to give up, we're not going to stop running the football. If anything, we're going to run the football more."

Palmer argued that McFadden has been a few arm tackles away from breaking a string of long runs. We see an offensive line that helped the team produce yardage and points in a surprise win over the Pittsburgh Steelers but hasn't been consistent creating lanes and opening for skill players. This is a familiar tune for the Raiders. We're not holding our breath.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.