Darren McFadden put the NFL on notice Monday night he could be in store for a big year. The former Arkansas Razorback and number one pick of the Oakland Raiders back in 2008 rushed for 150 yards on 22 carries in the Raiders 23-20 victory over the Denver Broncos.
After one week, McFadden is the NFL’s leading rusher. His performance Monday night was similar to what he did against the Broncos last year when he rushed for 165 yards and 119 yards in two games against the division rival.
The Sporting News calls McFadden “officially among the game’s elite all-purpose backs.”
On the other sideline, disappointed Bronco fans were chanting “Tebow! Tebow!” after an opening game loss at home. Tim Tebow, the former Florida great, is described today by a Denver Post columnist as “America’s favorite backup quarterback.”
Columnist Mark Kiszla says Denver QB Kyle Orton “has lost all credibility with Broncomaniacs.” Ouch.
When asked after the game if he considered making a change at quarterback, new Broncos coach John Fox ignored the question. Looks like it’s going to be an interesting and tumultuous season in Denver.
Update: “I couldn’t actually hear that,” Fox said of the Tebow chants. “I thought our crowd was great. I thought it was electric. I thought it was as good as I’ve been associated with. All my feelings about the fans and the crowd and the home field was tremendous.”
In the first game Monday night, Tom Brady lit up the Miami Dolphins, throwing for a team-record 517 yards. A key member of the supporting cast was former Florida Gator Aaron Hernandez.
Hernandez caught seven passes, including one touchdown, for 103 yards, about 20% of Brady’s total production.
“When you have a great quarterback who puts the ball at the right spot all the time, it’s easy to make a catch,’’ Hernandez said. “Tight ends are used a lot in this offense. And Tom knows how to get us the ball.’’
Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry is lost for the season. The former All-American safety from Tennessee and the Kansas City Chiefs number one pick in 2010 tore ligaments in his left knee early in Sunday’s loss to Buffalo.
“Eric is a special and will continue to be a special individual,” Chiefs coach Todd Haley said. “This really digs you deep first and foremost because I know how hard he’s worked, and I know how much it means to him.”
Update: Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson describes the play that led to Berry’s injury. “You don’t go out there to hurt anybody. We get plays and coaches tell us what to do and we go out and try to execute it. I went out there and did a chop block on Eric Berry, the safety. Let’s say Freddy (Jackson) was to break that run … [Berry] would’ve been the next defender. That would’ve been a good block, we just sprung Freddy for the touchdown. It just so happened to be a bad play and a bad situation. … I definitely don’t want that to happen to anybody.”
Rodney Harrison called the hit on Berry “cowardly.”