Darren McFadden's Legacy Could Begin With Tennessee Titans Game

SB Report@Raiders_NationCorrespondent IISeptember 9, 2010

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 22:  Darren McFadden #20  of the Oakland Raiders runs with the ball during their game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on November 22, 2009 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Darren McFadden goes into Sunday's game at Tennessee as the Raiders' starting running back. Going into his third year in Oakland, it will be the first real opportunity for McFadden to be the team's featured back.

He had a career day against the Chiefs in the second game of his rookie season and has shown only flashes of brilliance since.

With Fargas no longer a Raider and Michael Bush presumably not playing much, McFadden has the opportunity to do what he was drafted to do.

Ironically, this game comes against Chris Johnson, who was drafted at the end of the first round the same year McFadden went fourth overall. You can bet Al Davis hasn't spent a day in two years wishing he didn't draft Johnson and his legitimate 4.23 speed in the backfield.

At this point, McFadden has almost no chance to live up to his six-year, $60 million dollar contract. He barely made the team this year, according to reports that had him on the trade block during the offseason. Regardless, the team knows he is loaded with potential and, if nothing else, has plenty of tread left on his tires. He has 217 carries in two NFL seasons. The Titans' gameplan this weekend will probably be to get Chris Johnson that many touches in one game.

All that said, Darren McFadden has every opportunity to make his legacy on Sunday. If the Raiders win and McFadden can put up numbers anywhere near Chris Johnson, there will be reason for optimism.

The Titans have the superior offensive line, and we have yet to see McFadden flash anything near the brilliance of Johnson, but DMC should have a huge chip on his shoulder going into Tennessee. 

A lot will be forgotten if he can showcase his breakaway speed from college and improve his shiftiness near the line of scrimmage. His lower body is reportedly stronger than ever, so maybe he can have more success between the tackles.

Certainly, the Raiders have never needed him more. Al Davis believes he has built a contender in the west, but it won't happen without a strong running game. McFadden needs to be the man, and it has to happen now.

When Michael Bush returns, the team can keep both backs fresh and split carries. 

Until then, McFadden needs to carry the team.

If he wants to be a Raider legend, it needs to start this Sunday. In Tennessee, we can turn the page on forgettable seasons for McFadden and the Raiders, or mark the beginning of the rich Raider legacy being restored.

Right now, it appears Darren McFadden could be in control of both.

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