Running back Josh Jacobs is one of the best players on the Las Vegas Raiders roster. However, he hasn’t had much success running the ball this season. The Silver and Black nee to give their star player a little help if they want to maximize his production. This in turn would also benefit the team, so they have all the incentive to do so.
Josh Jacobs has been his usual self with the Raiders in 2020
Although there were questions regarding whether he was going to be able to carry the load full-time in the NFL, Jacobs quickly put the concerns to rest. The Alabama standout finished the 2019 season with 242 carries for 1,150 yards and seven touchdowns. He did so despite dealing with a shoulder injury.
This year, Jacobs was going to be even better and was going to be heavily involved in the passing game. This was true in the Raiders Week 1 matchup against the Carolina Panthers, in which he tallied 25 carries for 93 yards and three touchdowns while hauling in four passes for 46 yards.
After Week 1, things haven’t gone so well for Jacobs as he has failed to cross the 90-yard mark ever since. Moreover, his workload has progressively decreased to the point where he had a season-low 16 carries against the New England Patriots. All in all, Jacobs has tallied 83 carries for 300 yards and three touchdowns in 2020. His 3.6 yard-per-carry average is more than a yard less than his 2019 average.
Although Jacobs should shoulder some of the blame, the Raiders haven’t helped him much. One reason why his carries have gone down is the team’s play-calling. In the last two games, they showed a penchant for dropping the running game in favor of throwing the ball in the second half. Meanwhile, the offensive line is also having difficulties opening lanes for Jacobs and the running game.
Don’t blame this one on the running back
There is no simple fix for the offensive line, and the Raiders have to wait for right tackle Trent Brown and left guard Richie Incognito to get back to the lineup. Also, it’s difficult to stick to the game plan if the team gets behind early. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson is aware of this issue and says they’re trying to make the running game a point of emphasis once again.
Establishing the run is not currently as crucial as it was two decades ago. Nevertheless, it is still an important part of a team’s offense. The Raiders know that and must do something if they want to prevent their running game from falling apart.
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