Raiders running back Darren McFadden discovered Sunday what every other running back to face the Houston Texans already had this season: It's difficult.
McFadden averaged 115 yards the first three games but rushed for only 47 on Sunday before exiting the game with a right hamstring injury in the fourth quarter. Backup Michael Bush added 40 yards.
"They have a good front seven," McFadden said of the Texans. "Those guys are good getting off blocks and making plays."
McFadden also said he felt as if the Raiders did a decent job running the ball, all things considered.
Overall, the Raiders had 118 yards rushing, well more than twice the 54.3 average allowed by the Texans in their first three games. Yet, Houston succeeded in keeping intact its streak of not allowing a running back more than 55 yards.
McFadden's injury cleared the way for Bush to get his most significant workload this season. He rushed seven times and showed that the broken left thumb that sidelined him the first two games no longer is a concern.
McFadden suffered his injury at the end of a 23-yard run, as he attempted to outrun a defender in the open field. He grabbed his hamstring and headed out of bounds.
"I was trying to go for another gear and I just pulled up," McFadden said. "I tried to get out first because I didn't want to pull it too fast."
His status for next Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers will be evaluated today.
"They kind of tell me to get down," Gradkowski said of his coaches. "It's just my nature to get all I can. A couple of times I've got to be smarter than that and get down, and a couple of times it just happened so fast you're just stuck in between and you've just got to take the hit. I've got to be smarter than that and protect my body."
He exited the field, spent a few minutes in the locker room but returned for Oakland's next possession and played the rest of the game. He said he expects to start against the Chargers.
Gradkowski capitalized, to some extent, by completing 24 of 39 passes (61.5 percent) for 278 yards and two touchdowns. He had a 78.8 passer rating.
His lone field-goal attempt came midway through the fourth quarter, with the Raiders trailing 31-21. He converted from 39 yards.