Raiders RB Josh Jacobs

The Putrid Chargers’ Run D Should Have Josh Jacobs Salivating

As if Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs needed any more help to continue his remarkable run. Well, thanks to a putrid Los Angeles Chargers run defense, he’ll get just that in Week 13.

The NFL on CBS recently mentioned that the Chargers are giving up 5.4 yards per carry, the most allowed in a single season in the Super Bowl era. That’s the unit tasked with slowing down Jacobs this weekend as the Chargers head to Allegiant Stadium for another AFC West clash. It’s a tall order, to say the least, and with the Chargers’ playoff hopes dwindling, you could say the Raiders are getting a lucky break this weekend. Despite an underwhelming start to their first season under Josh McDaniels, the Raiders are still alive. A lot of that can be attributed to Jacobs’ play. The question is, do the Chargers have what it takes to dash the Silver and Black’s dream of making a 180 on their season?

Will the Chargers slow down Josh Jacobs?

Anything can happen on any given Sunday, but the numbers say otherwise as far as the question posed. In the last five of their six games, the Chargers have given up 150-plus rushing yards. That’s downright ugly and up next, they’re facing a running back that amassed 303 scrimmage yards in total against the Seattle Seahawks.

Here are some more bewildering numbers, the Chargers have allowed 12 touchdowns on the ground, 12. What do you think Jacobs is going to do? They’re ranked in the 20s for most key categories pertaining to rushing defense. That’s including total rushing yards allowed in the season with 1,665 (27th), rushing touchdowns (20th), and 148.4 yards a game (30th).

Raiders can’t overlook the Chargers this week

Look, no one’s saying that Jacobs or the Raiders are going to overlook the Chargers. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. While the numbers aren’t complimentary, the Chargers are very talented, and offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi is fully aware of that. While speaking to the media this week, Lombardi gave an overall assessment of Brandon Staley’s defense.

“The Chargers – I mean, look, they’re a well-coached, fast defense that swarm to the football. They force a lot of fumbles. Obviously, that keeps them in games. They’ve done a good job with
that recently, forced turnovers. They really make you earn every inch. They’ve got good players in all ends, whether it’s Khalil Mack, Derwin James, [Drue] Tranquill at linebacker. All levels of defense, they have guys who can make plays on the football and get after, whether it’s the quarterback, the pass game, or run game.”

McDaniels and Lombardi are going to make the necessary adjustments depending on what the Chargers throw at them. Yes, they’re susceptible to the run, but they could give the Raiders different looks, forcing them to adjust the gameplan. At the end of the day, we all know Jacobs is capable of taking off for a big one on the outside. Sooner or later, Jacobs will get his against this run defense.

*Top Photo: Abbie Parr/Associated Press

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