The 2012 NFL season has overflowed with surprises but the biggest is probably the resurgent Indianapolis Colts. Still, they have their lingering roster issues. Could Darren McFadden of the Oakland Raiders solve one of them?
Andrew Luck success should not discount lack of running game
The Colts were rudderless in 2011, and their fans couldn’t have felt luckier for it. Otherwise the team never would’ve landed rookie sensation Andrew Luck. Through his play and leadership Indianapolis has already tripled the number of wins they had a year ago. Their hunt for a playoff spot is very much alive. Yet in the midst of this improbable run, the team isn’t kidding anybody with the talent on their roster. Outside of a few notable names they have gotten by on the legs of second-rate role players. Nowhere is that clearer than running back. Neither Donald Brown nor Vick Ballard has made it over 500 yards. Each has just one rushing touchdown. For an idea of the futility, Luck has run for 216 yards and five touchdowns. Those numbers reflect on a team still rebuilding despite their success. While there are few solutions now, they should take chances on finding better talent when the off-season starts.
McFadden and Carson Palmer headline Raider roster issues
Though neither player is facing a contract dispute, both Darren McFadden and Carson Palmer could find their roster spots in serious jeopardy next year. The Raiders are 3-10, facing their tenth-straight season out of the playoffs. New GM Reggie McKenzie came in with a plan to totally reshape the roster through the draft after he used 2012 as somewhat of an evaluation period. If true, McFadden is perhaps the biggest disappointment. The team had high hopes for the star out of Arkansas but his obvious ability hasn’t had time to show because of one injury after another. The latest came in another loss to the Denver Broncos. McFadden sprained his right ankle for the second time and faces uncertainty for the last three games of the season. Oakland fans have all but lost patience with the running back and the time may come soon for McKenzie to seek a trade or outright release. For a team like Indianapolis, snatching a talent like McFadden is a classic high risk/high reward idea. If he stays healthy he would become a perfect backfield threat for luck, while also allowing the front office to beef up other roster areas that need help.
The Oakland Raiders sit at the edge of another transformation in their quest for a winning season. Darren McFadden could become one of their latest sacrifices. If the Indianapolis Colts seek more from Andrew Luck, giving him a talented back is a key move.
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