The big challenge for the Patriots defensively yesterday was to prevent running back Darren McFadden from getting a big play which could have changed the tone of the game.
McFadden had 14 carries for 75 yards, an average of 5.4 yards per carry. The average doesn’t look great, but considering he had one 41-yard carry to spur the Raiders to their first touchdown, that 5.4 goes down to 2.6 on McFadden’s 13 other carries.
“I think we handled the run game,” Vince Wilfork said. “A lot of people challenged us, that we couldn’t stop the run game at all.”
Oakland’s other back, Michael Bush, did have a one-yard touchdown.
But keeping McFadden from beating them and making quarterback Jason Campbell beat them was part of the game plan, and it worked well – Campbell threw a red-zone interception to Patrick Chung that he called a “bonehead mistake that cost our team” and had a second to Wilfork, who he actually said he didn’t see.
That doesn’t say much for Campbell if he truly didn’t see a 325-pound lineman…