ALAMEDA -- The numbers say that Darren McFadden is about half the running back he was a year ago.
Raiders coach Dennis Allen was asked Monday if McFadden looks like the same player he saw on film from 2011.
"Yeah, he does," Allen said. "He's still an explosive player. We've got to do a better job creating room for him to run. We've incorporated a few more of those gap-scheme plays, and I know you can say this on every play, but we're one block here or there from a big run."
In a 26-23 win overtime win over the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, McFadden gained 53 yards on 19 carries in what was very close to the norm for him this season. With 324 yards on 103 attempts, McFadden is averaging 17.2 carries and 54 yards per game rushing.
At this point last season, McFadden was the hottest back in the NFL with 110 carries for 610 yards.
But in Week 7 against the Kansas City Chiefs, McFadden carried twice for four yards, twisted his foot awkwardly after catching a short pass from Jason Campbell, and was out for the rest of the season with a Lisfranc sprain.
The Raiders, 2-4, are facing the Chiefs again in the seventh game, this time in Arrowhead Stadium.
McFadden has politely fielded inquires every week about the struggles of the running game. Other than an 18-carry, 113-yard effort against Pittsburgh, it's been slow going.
Although listed with a shoulder injury, McFadden said he's fine physically. A quick trip to the locker room against Jacksonville was for a bathroom break. He said he's reviewed every carry to see if there is anything he is missing.
"You want to look at every run, so you can know what you did wrong or if you should have stayed with the hole or made an earlier cut," McFadden said. "It's one of those things where you have to go back and re-evaluate yourself."
Given the Raiders commitment to a zone blocking system, the addition of power and gap-scheme runs were a bye week tweak hoping to get McFadden going. Former offensive coordinator Hue Jackson added those running plays in 2010 after conferring with McFadden.
Allen likes what he sees from McFadden getting tough yards, and believes breaking a run or two every game will get things back to normal.
"You look at the Pittsburgh game and his best rushing output and he had an explosive (64-yard) run," Allen said. "That's how you get those big games. You have one or two explosive runs and all of a sudden you look up and here's a guy with a hundred-and-something yards rushing."
"I don't know how they'll respond to it," Allen said. "I don't see them changing a whole lot as far as philosophically what they're going to do on offense."
Tackle Khalif Barnes (groin) and cornerback Shawntae Spencer (foot) are doubtful to practice, Allen said, but tight end Richard Gordon (hamstring) could return to the field, Allen said.
Cornerback Ron Bartell (broken scapula) is eligible to come off the designated for return injured reserve list Saturday, meaning he'll probably practice next week.