How RB Josh Jacobs, old-school soccer have remodeled Raiders offense

Las Vegas Raiders offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi stated operating again Josh Jacobs is one in all his favourite gamers due to the unrelenting manner he runs the soccer.

“He’s old-school and wants to get the ball downhill,” Lombardi stated. “And he wants the ball.” 

Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels gave Jacobs the last word praise, calling him a “football player.”

“He’s as tough as they come,” McDaniels stated about Jacobs. “He takes a lot of hits and keeps coming. He plays his best in the second half, almost every week. I’m running out of terms, but when you describe someone as a ‘football player,’ that’s what he is.” 

Driving a three-game profitable streak coming into their Thursday evening recreation on the Rams, the Raiders have turned their season round and have crept again into the playoff dialog at 5-7. One of many driving forces behind that effort has been a return to a bodily operating recreation, led by Jacobs. 

The Alabama product leads the league in dashing (1,303) and scrimmage yards (1,634) this season and is tied for third with 10 dashing touchdowns. Jacobs is on tempo to interrupt the franchise document for dashing yards set by his mentor, Marcus Allen, who ran for 1,759 dashing yards throughout his league MVP season in 1985. 

Jacobs has been at his finest throughout his group’s three-game profitable streak, averaging 160 dashing yards a recreation. Total, Jacobs has rushed for greater than 100 yards six occasions this season. 5 of these have been wins for Las Vegas. 

So, how have the Raiders constantly sprung Jacobs unfastened for large features? They’ve leaned on a conventional personnel grouping, using fullback Jakob Johnson and utilizing two-back, one-tight finish units to play bully ball up entrance. This season, the Raiders have used two-back, one-tight finish units (21 personnel) on 148 of their offensive performs, or 20% of the time. 

Over the previous three video games, the Raiders have run the ball 45 occasions for 318 yards and 5 touchdowns with two-back, one tight finish units. 

Within the first recreation of the three-game profitable streak, an extra time victory in Denver, the Raiders totaled 15 carries for 64 yards in 21 personnel. The next week, an extra time win towards the Seahawks, the Raiders had 11 carries for 164 yards and three touchdowns, together with the game-winner, an 86-yard landing run by Jacobs. Final week in a house win over the Chargers, the Raiders had 15 carries for 90 yards and a landing in 21 personnel.

In line with Subsequent Gen Stats, Jacobs leads the NFL in yards after contact with 1,064. Which means the offensive line, receivers and fullback are doing a wonderful job blocking on the level of contact.  Jacobs additionally has a league-high 799 dashing yards in-between the tackles, displaying his elite skill as an inside runner. 

Using a fullback like Johnson to clear a path has been key to Jacobs’ success. Per Subsequent Gen Stats, the Raiders common 5.8 yards per carry and 15.1% of Jacobs’ carries acquire a minimum of 10 yards with Johnson within the recreation. With out Johnson, Jacobs averages 4.9 yards per carry and 12.9% of his carries acquire a minimum of 10 yards. 

“The more we do our job right, the more we give those playmakers a chance to do what they are blessed to do,” Johnson stated. “I can’t zu-zu like that, but if I can open up the hole for Josh, then we’re going the right way.” 

Working example: Jacobs’ lengthy landing run for a rating in extra time towards Seattle, when he went nearly untouched. 

“We felt like a lot of the runs were close, but we just had to strain a little bit more and pay attention to the details,” Jacobs stated in regards to the play. “We told the guys at the end of the first quarter, one of these is going to pop. It just happened to be the biggest play of the game.” 

Added middle Andre James: “He makes our jobs easier with the way that he runs the ball. He runs it with super big passion, so it’s nice blocking for someone like that.” 

Jacobs’ skill to function the engine of the offense additionally creates extra alternative for receiver Davante Adams and the passing recreation. Adams has posted a minimum of 125 receiving yards and a rating in 4 of the previous 5 video games for Las Vegas. 

And Adams helps Jacobs, too. Per Professional Soccer Focus, the Raiders have confronted essentially the most Cowl 2 shell defenses this season, which suggests fewer defenders within the field for Jacobs and the Las Vegas offense when the Raiders run the ball.

Las Vegas chosen Jacobs No. 19 total within the 2019 draft, however the Raiders declined his fifth-year possibility, that means he can be an unrestricted free agent subsequent season. Las Vegas might apply the franchise tag this offseason or search an extension that retains the 24-year-old runner with the group long-term. 

The Raiders have already consummated long-term offers with a number of offensive playmakers, together with Adams, quarterback Derek Carr, tight finish Darren Waller and slot receiver Hunter Renfrow. With the season he is placing collectively, Jacobs would appear subsequent in line, however he is extra centered on ending out the yr robust.

“Still got to maintain a high level of play,” Jacobs informed the Las Vegas Overview Journal when requested about his contract standing. “They only remember you for your last [game]. We’ll see how this next one comes out.” 

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Eric D. Williams has reported on the NFL for greater than a decade, protecting the Los Angeles Rams for Sports activities Illustrated, the Los Angeles Chargers for ESPN and the Seattle Seahawks for the Tacoma Information Tribune. Observe him on Twitter at @eric_d_williams.

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