The run game was a big part of Las Vegas’s first win of the season. Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs dominated the game, but a couple others helped the cause, along with a noteworthy effort by his offensive line.
The Raiders’ O-Line had one of their finest performances.
So far in the season, the bright spot for the Raiders’ O-line has been their run blocking. But since the Raiders have been trailing or choking leads, they haven’t been able to truly showcase that aspect of their offensive gameplan. Sunday’s game was different. Andre James was back, which helped solidify the line and allowed Dylan Parham to help with the guard spot.
From the start, the unit was opening up holes to get Jacobs started. What impressed me personally the most was their relentlessness; they found work. Once they blocked their first man and Jacobs was off to the next level, they would work their way up and continue to block. Their consistent running blocking led to a season high 212 rush yards on 5.6 yards per carry for the Raiders’ rushing attack. They did this despite being the Raiders’ fourth different starting offensive line in just four weeks.
Who else stepped up for the Las Vegas Raiders on the ground?
Quarterback Derek Carr ran a 4.69 in the 40-yard dash at the 2014 NFL Combine. He’s flashed his running ability in the past, but he doesn’t always use it to his advantage. This game, Carr didn’t let his happy feet affect him and ran for some crucial first downs.
He ran for a season-high of 40 yards on seven attempts. This happened because of how the Denver Broncos were covering the Raiders. Darren Waller and Davante Adams were getting doubled up, per usual, opening up running lanes for Carr. We hope to see this from Carr going forward; it will help keep the defense honest.
Rookie running back Zamir White only got two carries, but one of them helped close this game out. White got his name called in the fourth quarter, as Jacobs needed a breather. They called for a toss to the left and picked up 22 yards to set up a goal-to-goal, which eventually led to a Jacobs game-winning touchdown. White ended the game with 24 yards on two carries, a career high, albeit he has only been in the league for four games. Maybe we’re witnessing the formation of a one-two punch in the form of Jacobs and White?
Simply put, No. 28 was great.
Jacobs was a superstar. The man literally carried the Raiders on his back on Sunday. He has shown this type of dominant ability before, and now he reminded everyone of who he is. A big reason for his success is his ability to break tackles. He doesn’t go down easily, and that, plus the running blocking displayed by the offensive line, equals a recipe for success.
Jacobs made play after play, but I praise him most for being able to punch two touchdowns in. If Jacobs hadn’t tote those in, the Raiders would’ve stalled out once again in the red zone. This type of bruising back takes a toll on teams, and by the end of the game, it looked like the Broncos weren’t too excited about tackling Jacobs. In fact, No. 28 finished with a career high of 144 yards on 28 carries and two touchdowns.
The Raiders no longer have to pass for three consecutive plays that end in a punt. Feed Jacobs and then use the stacked boxes to help open up your passing game. Complementary football wins you games in this league.
*Top Photo: Official Raiders YouTube Channel