Raiders’ Run Game Bounced Back When It Mattered

Despite the heartbreaking loss handed to them by the Cincinnati Bengals, there were a number of positives for the Las Vegas Raiders, mainly from running back Josh Jacobs. He finished Saturday’s game with 83 yards on the ground. As we focus on the offseason, let’s take a look at Jacobs’ play on the field.

If you look at Jacobs’s performance prior to Saturday, there’s a big difference between the two. At home against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 18, he had 132 rushing yards while averaging five yards per carry, resulting in a touchdown and a win.

On Saturday, he had 83 yards on the ground while averaging six yards per carry. However, Jacobs was unable to find the endzone. If you look at his huge 35-yard rush during the second quarter, you will see that he was having a great game. Regrettably, due to either holding calls or not getting the blocks he needed, it ruined what could’ve been a bigger game for him. These are the types of key factors that make-or-break games, and unfortunately for the Raiders, it led to the season ending in the first round of the playoffs. It is truly frustrating when you clearly see that the run game was working, but in the fourth quarter, Jacobs had zero touches. After getting off to slow start in the regular season for a myriad of reasons, it was good seeing Jacobs getting his legs back under him.


A look ahead…

As far as what transpired on Saturday, Jacobs fought to the end and has nothing to be ashamed of in his efforts during Saturday’s game. He truly left it all on the field. Seeing the Raiders abandon the run game was surely frustrating for No. 28, but these things happen. The question is, was his resurgence late in the season enough to warrant a long-term commitment from the organization? Though his first trip to the playoffs did not result in a win, it cannot be overstated that he was a major reason the Raiders were playing on Saturday to begin with.

The third-year Alabama running back has nothing to be ashamed of after finishing his season with 872 rushing yards, nine touchdowns, and a trip to the playoffs. Was it as productive as his rookie season? Unfortunately, no, it wasn’t. However, several factors played into that diminished impact, none more important than the Raiders’ shuffling of the offensive line and the injuries that it sustained. With a renewed commitment to the run game and a retooled O-line, perhaps Jacobs can pick up where he left off next season.

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*Top Photo: Courtesy of Sportskeeda

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