Everybody was excited in the Las Vegas Raiders 2020 season opener. The defense was its usual self and allowed 30 points. However, the offense was working in high-gear, and scored 34 points of their own. Running back Josh Jacobs had an electrifying game and scored three rushing touchdowns. He then slowed down and hadn’t had a game like that until the Silver and Black’s Week 8 matchup against the Cleveland Browns.
It was fair to wonder if something was wrong with Josh Jacobs
After the first game of the year, Jacobs didn’t rush for more than 88 yards in any other game this season and that was the following week against the New Orleans Saints. He only averaged more than four yards per carry in one game and his yards-per-carry average was a full yard lower than it was in 2019. Even though ’28’ hadn’t shown up in the injury report, it was fair to wonder if he was fully healthy these past weeks.
In a recent sitdown, the media asked head coach Jon Gruden if Jacobs was hurting. At that point, that was a fair question as the Alabama standout hadn’t performed the way he had last season. Gruden responded that the sophomore was ‘beat up’ but added that every single player was.
Jacobs’ performance in Week 8 showed why the Raiders weren’t worried
The elements played a big role in the Raiders game against the Browns. There were gusty winds, rain, and even graupel at one point. The weather conditions didn’t let the Raiders jump-start their passing game, so they had to rely on their running back group. Not surprisingly, the group thrived, especially Jacobs. The sophomore finished the game with 31 carries for 128 yards.
Even though Jacobs didn’t score, he was key to helping the Raiders control the time tempo, as the Browns only had six possessions on offense. Furthermore, he became only the ninth Raiders player to carry the ball 31 times or more per Josh Dubow of the Associated Press. His performance was so dominant that he received a nomination for FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week.
There’s still plenty of football left to play this season and there are more challenges ahead for the Raiders. Nevertheless, they will have a chance to vanquish them if Jacobs plays the way he did against the Browns.
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