The Las Vegas Raiders are now on a losing streak, but what went wrong? One of the most obvious culprits is the team’s disregard for the running game.
The Raiders’ offense was rolling for most of the season but the wheels have been falling off as of late. Quarterback Derek Carr has been having fumble issues and the offensive line continues to falter amid injuries. Both of these issues can be remedied with coaching, patience, and recovery. However, the running game can be addressed, and quite frankly, it needs to be the priority.
Josh Jacobs hasn’t received a consistent load this year and the results speak for themselves. On Sunday, ’28’ actually only totaled 27 rushing yards which was his second-lowest total of the season. On top of the disappointing results, Raider Nation drew a collective sigh when he went down on Sunday. Fortunately, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, Jacobs suffered a sprained ankle, nothing broken. There’s a chance he’ll play this Sunday in what could be a season-defining game versus the New York Jets.
The Raiders Need To Get The Ball Back In The Hands Of Jacobs & Booker
Between Jacobs and his backup, Devontae Booker, the Raiders only handed the ball off a total of 12 times. That’s unacceptable, as an offensive balance has been key for this team. The previous week against the Kansas City Chiefs, Jacobs had 17 carries by himself.
Booker had what appeared to be a breakout game as the RB2 for this squad against the Denver Broncos in Week 10. He amassed 81 rushing yards off of 16 carries, scoring two touchdowns via the ground in the process. Since then, Booker has only ten carries between both of the last two contests.
It’s easy for us to sit back and criticize Gruden’s playcalling in the last few weeks. However, it’s obvious that this team struggles when they decide to abandon the power running game. It’s understandable that Jacobs hasn’t been his 2019 self but Booker has shown he can handle a bigger load. Besides, one of the best ways to protect ‘4’ and take the pressure of him will be to reestablish the power running game and run it down their opponent’s throats.
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*Top Photo: Associated Press/Adam Hunger