Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden has ripped through two AFC East defenses so far this season – and he hasn’t even gotten to the division’s worst yet.
The Raiders will be up against their third AFC East opponent in as many weeks when they host the New England Patriots, who are last in the NFL in total defense, Sunday.
McFadden gained 143 total yards and two touchdowns two weeks ago against the Buffalo Bills and picked up 171 yards and two touchdowns on the ground alone last week against the New York Jets.
Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo said New England has made tackling a focus during practice this week, as McFadden has the ability to shed multiple takedowns, and once he gets going, he’s incredibly difficult to stop.
“McFadden is a great guy with the ball in hands,” Mayo told the media Thursday. “Tackling him will be an issue.
“He’s a big guy and he's fast. [He] has a great stiff arm and he can catch the ball out of the backfield -- very explosive player. I have a little bit of a history with him. Good player and it will be a challenge for us. “
Through three games, McFadden has five rushes for 20 yards or more and two carries for 40 yards or more. His longest was a 70-yard touchdown last week against the Jets.
"He can go the distance from anywhere," Patriots coach Bill Belichick told the media Wednesday. "You just can't ever relax on him."
Follow Nick @NickStDenis