Despite an underwhelming start to the season, several Las Vegas Raiders players were off to notable starts. Now, as we enter the final quarter of the season, many of them are still doing more than their share to carry the team. Pro Football Focus has also taken notice, naming a trio of them to their “Third-Quarter All-Pro Team.”
Josh Jacobs and Davante Adams were obvious choices by PFF.
Adams and Jacobs have carried the Raiders’ offense so far this season. It’s not a slight towards quarterback Derek Carr at all, but it’s debatable where this offense would be right now without JJ28 and AD17. Jacob is on pace to break the team’s all-time single-season rushing record. There’s even talk about Jacobs beginning to mount a case for league MVP, though we know that’s an uphill battle. On the other hand, Adams has more than delivered on the offseason hype. He’s the Raiders’ best receiver by a mile; it’s not even close. What’s scary is that both Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller have been nonfactors so far. That makes you wonder just how much potential Josh McDaniels’ offense really has.
“[Nick] Chubb continues to be virtually unstoppable, but Josh Jacobs has leapfrogged him into pole position for the All-Pro spot thanks to some incredible performances.”
PFF’s Sam Monson, who put the selections together, is right: Jacobs’ individual performances are a sight to behold. He’s been slowed down a couple of times this season, but, other than that, it’s been sheer dominance.
“In recent weeks, Adams has been virtually unstoppable for the Raiders, and there are signs that Derek Carr is beginning to develop the understanding that Aaron Rodgers had with him in Green Bay.”
As far as Adams goes, Monson is once again correct; No. 17 has been wreaking havoc. He’s recorded more than 124 receiving yards on five occasions out of the last eight games. He’s also scored twice in four of those contests. Kudos to the man who’s getting him the ball and the coach who’s drawing up the plays.
Raiders’ A.J. Cole is the best punter in the NFL, simply put.
“Cole has quickly become the standard at punter in the NFL, with the best combination of factors needed for elite play at the position.”
Monson said it best: Cole really is the standard right now. Following in the tradition of great Raiders’ punters such as Ray Guy and Shane Lechler, Cole will carve out his niche before it’s all said and done. A Pro Bowl designee and a First-Team All-Pro in 2021, you can expect similar recognition this year as well. Cole has hit 19 of 40 punts inside the 20-yard line this season, with only 2.5 percent touchbacks in 2022. Suffice to say, punting won’t be an issue for the Raiders any time soon.
Raiders DE Maxx Crosby sneaks in with the Second Team according to the publication.
Crosby, for his past, sneaked in, but on the Second Team, as written by Monson. The starter ahead of Crosby is Dallas Cowboys star Micah Parsons. The Cowboys’ pass rusher has been on a tear since coming into the league. To be fair, though, Crosby has been doing it for a while longer than Parsons. A current nominee for the Art Rooney Award, Crosby is on a tear himself with 10.5 sacks and 17 tackles for a loss. A playoff berth could help Crosby make this a closer race as well. Let’s revisit this PFF team once the regular season concludes.
*Top Photo: AP Photo/Jack Dempsey