The Los Angeles Rams defeated the Silver and Black in stunning fashion in the final minutes of the fourth quarter during primetime on Thursday at Sofi Stadium. This came as a complete shock to Raider Nation, as the Las Vegas Raiders had a 13-point lead and were looking to extend their winning streak. While there’s plenty of blame to go around, let’s concentrate on the ground game, and in particular, the costly mistake of over relying on Josh Jacobs.
Despite suffering an injury, Josh Jacobs led the way again.
Running back Josh Jacobs was simply unstoppable in the early going, scoring the game’s first touchdown. He demonstrated why he is the league’s leading rusher and one of the best at his position. Jacobs once again led the team in rushing, finishing with 99 yards on 3.7 yards per carry.
Despite the fact that Jacobs injured his finger while being tackled to the ground during the game, he still managed to give his team his all. It could be argued that his injury was caused by the way he played, as he was forced to hold the ball with his non-dominant hand, which disrupted the game’s flow. NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported this morning that the injury sustained was related to his pinky finger. Rapoport did point out that Jacobs only missed a few plays, and luckily for the Raiders, the upcoming “mini bye week” will help the running back with recovery.
From @GMFB: A few key injuries to watch, looking at #Raiders RB Josh Jacobsâ€™ finger, #Giants RB Saquon Barkleyâ€™s neck and #Ravens QB Lamar Jacksonâ€™s knee. pic.twitter.com/JxBgCn7eBz
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 9, 2022
Truth be told, we all pointed out that the Rams weren’t going to be pushovers when it came to defending the run. Heading into Thursday Night Football, the Rams were ranked seventh in rushing yards allowed (1,325), which was solid at best. Nevertheless, head coach Josh McDaniels insisted on not spreading the ball around. The last time we checked, the Raiders had Zamir White, who’s looked good in limited snaps.
McDaniels’ poor game planning once again cost the Raiders in this one. Luckily, as Rapoport mentioned, it shouldn’t be too serious for Jacobs. Interestingly enough, when McDaniels was asked about it by the media today, the coach didn’t give much of an update.
“Nothing yet. I think the x-ray taken yesterday was negative, so I think that was a good thing. So, nothing new as of this point.”
What’s next for the Raiders?
The Silver and Black will have a long stretch of days ahead of them. Surely everyone in that organization is wondering what might’ve been. It just doesn’t make sense why McDaniels would insist on piling up Jacobs’ carries (70-plus carries in 11 days, actually) when the passing game was working beautifully early on.
Following this humiliating defeat, the team must now turn its attention to their next opponent. That opponent is the New England Patriots, led by head coach Josh McDaniels’ former mentor Bill Belichick. With playoff hopes dwindling, there is still a game to be played. Unlike the Rams, the Patriots boast one of the better defenses in the league. Calling this defense stout is an understatement. Josh Jacobs will face a difficult task in this on. Particularly running around the edges, because this team has an elite-level linebacker in Matthew Judon. Hopefully that finger heals up nicely.
*Top Photo: NBC Sports/Daniel Shirey