Oakland Raiders Josh Jacobs and Darren Waller make PFF’s Team of the Week
By Daniel Davis
The Oakland Raiders may have been blown out by the Green Bay Packers Sunday, but two of their offensive studs made Pro Football Focus’ Team of the Week.
The Oakland Raiders are coming off a blowout loss to the Green Bay Packers where the secondary played some poor football. However, some of the bright spots were rookie Josh Jacobs, who continues to play at an elite level, and newly signed Darren Waller, who is proving he deserved the contract extension signed at the beginning of this week.
Both men made the Pro Football Focus Team of the Week. Waller caught seven catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns in a passing attack that moved the ball effectively against the Packers defense. On the season, he has caught 44 of 50 targets for 485 yards and his two touchdowns came last week after going the whole season without one.
Waller averages 25 percent of the teams receiving yards every week.
Even more important than receiving yards is the separation he has during his route running, with 3.8 yards per reception, which means he’s gaining separation from the defender and is becoming an elite option at the tight end position. Even more impressive is Derek Carr is only throwing the ball an average of 6.2 yards before the catch, and he’s getting an average of 6 yards after the catch as well. His catching percentage sits at 88, as Waller is, and continues to be the No. 1 target in Oakland’s passing attack.
Josh Jacobs also continues to outplay his draft position and is making an inarguable case for the NFL Rookie of the Year award. The top running back taken off the board in the 2019 NFL Draft, he’s proving to be in the mention of elite running backs in the NFL this year.
Shadowed only by Christian McCaffrey, who’s playing out of his mind, Jacobs continues to get better and is proving he belongs in an NFL uniform.
Coming from humble beginnings, Jacobs has dealt with being homeless and with not being able to eat. Football has been a lifesaver for the rookie, even requesting to stay off the cameras during this season of Hard Knocks on HBO.
On the season he has 554 yards on 109 carries with a 5.1 average, which is No. 1 overall for running backs this season. Last week, he carried the ball 21 times for 124 yards with a 5.9 yards per carry average.
Jacobs is currently rated No.1 on Pro-Football Focus’ running back list with a 90.7 rating in front of McCaffrey, who has an 87 rating.
The Raiders are struggling to hang on in a tight race for the AFC West crown. Currently, the Chiefs are on top with the Raiders in second place. Both these players are turning out to be elite options for this team and are helping the team get wins.
What’s important about both players is their grit, and desire to be better players. Both Jacobs and Waller have been through the wringer when it comes to ups and downs in their short careers. Waller has found a comfortable home in Oakland being the No. 1 target on the offense currently and Jacobs is continuing to develop into a special player.