The dust has settled on the polarizing Khalil Mack trade and it seems Raider Nation has been surprisingly (and overwhelmingly) satisfied with the results of the trade. And why wouldn’t they, as the Oakland Raiders are primed to make a run at a spot in the playoffs.
It was at the time, a dark day for Raider Nation. The elite and generational star (as so eloquently dubbed by Hall of Famer Howie Long) was shipped off to the Chicago Bears and in return, the Raiders received a couple of first-round picks. One of those picks turned out to be star-in-the-making running back Josh Jacobs.
An Apples and Oranges Comparison
To compare a running back to a pass rusher the caliber of Mack in many ways is actually quite asinine. These two positions have very different effects on a team. Literally. One is a defender, the other on offense.
However, what cannot be argued is the impact that Jacobs has had on offense for this Raiders team. To a certain degree, thanks in part to a powerful and imposing offensive line, the running game is arguably the main reason for the offensive resurgence. Derek Carr is having a great year in his second year under head coach Jon Gruden but make no mistake, Jacobs is up there with Carr as far as how important they are to this franchise moving forward as Las Vegas draws near.
What do the people think?
Here at the Raider Ramble, we decided to let Raider Nation chime in and let us know their feelings on all of this via our Twitter a few days ago. Many fans seemed divided, however, some excellent points were brought up, specifically position wise.
Like I said straight up Mack. DE's are more valuable than an RB in my option. While Jacobs seems like an amazing RB I feel he can be replaced more easily behind the Raiders line. Mack is a top 10 talent in the league. I can't say the same for Jacobs…YET.
— Jer Is Me (@Thrice_J) November 15, 2019
Of course, an elite pass-rushing defensive end could be a cornerstone for any NFL team. And Mack was exactly that for the Raiders since being drafted. By the same token, even if Jacobs is not considered a “Top 10” talent to some, the potential and all likelihood is there as the reader pointed out.
I'm going with the guy who has made the biggest impact for his team. That guy plays for the Raiders.
— REALISTIC, OPTIMISTIC, RAIDERS FAN (@fan_unrealistic) November 15, 2019
Jacobs looks like he has a future. Mack looks like he’s degressing
— Oakland Raiders Debates (@DebatesOakland) November 15, 2019
Some fans opted for a more straightforward analysis and that is the fact that Jacobs is right now making the impact and Mack, well, he’s gone and that’s it. Simple enough, I suppose. A more interesting take would be the one that one reader pointed out which would be that Mack is regressing. Right now, Mack has 5.5 sacks midway through this season, last season he had 12.5 total. As far as his tackles, he has amassed 30 solo tackles so far while the previous year he totaled 37. Look, there’s a lot more football to play but it will be interesting to see how Mack’s season plays out.
Ten or maybe five years from now there will be a more definitive answer to this debate but one thing is not debatable, Raider Nation is loving their new running back.