Oakland Raiders rookie Josh Jacobs facing a tough task in Week 12

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 17: Josh Jacobs #28 of the Oakland Raiders warms up prior to the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at RingCentral Coliseum on November 17, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 17: Josh Jacobs #28 of the Oakland Raiders warms up prior to the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at RingCentral Coliseum on November 17, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /

This Sunday’s game is strength on strength, as Josh Jacobs and the Oakland Raiders run game face off against the Jets No. 1 run defense.

It is back on the road for the Oakland Raiders this weekend as they head to New York to face Sam Darnold and the New York Jets. Despite their record, the Jets should not be taken lightly, especially with how the Raiders struggled to put away the Cincinnati Bengals last week.

New York is coming into this weekend with a two-game winning streak, and even though it was against the New York Giants and Washington Redskins, they’ve got some momentum going.

However, the Raiders have their own three-game winning streak and are playing with high confidence in all phases of the game. So it’ll be fun to see who can keep their momentum going.

One big focus in this game for both teams will be who can win the battle in the trenches, and it will be one of the better matchups the Raiders have faced this season. The Jets will enter this game with the number one rush defense in the league allowing just 79.1 yards per game on only 3.0 yards per attempt.

According to football outsiders, they also lead the league in stuff rate, which is the percentage of runs where the running back is tackled at or behind the line of scrimmage. Ezekiel Elliott is the only opposing running back to eclipsed 100-yards against New York, but he needed 28 carries to get 105 yards.

This is a pretty impressive feat by the Jets, considering they traded away perhaps their best interior defender Leonard Williams earlier this season. Rookie Quinnen Williams who Raiders fans know from last season’s draft coverage, has helped lead the front four and was the player Jon Gruden was quick to mention when talking about their defense.

"“They’re the No. 1 rushing defense in football and he’s the reason why,” Gruden said, via Newsday."

For Oakland, their offense begins with the running game and rookie Josh Jacobs, who has already proven to be a rising star in just his rookie season. He is averaging 4.83 yards per attempt and running behind an offensive line that is allowing the 5th lowest stuff rate in the league.

So clearly something will have to give on Sunday, but from the Raiders’ perspective, what exactly do they need to do to control the run game?

The key to a majority of the Raiders victories this season has been fast starts, and that won’t change against the Jets. Because if there is ever a time to go after this run defense, it’s in the first quarter. According to pro football reference, the Jets are giving up an average of 4.7 yards per carry in the first quarter then just 2.7 for the remainder of the game, so the Raiders need to get Jacobs going early.

The offense has been doing just that so far this season averaging 6.0 yards per carry in the first quarter.

Jacobs’s ability to gain yards after contact will also be huge, considering New York’s high stuff rate. The blocking hasn’t been great these past few weeks, but his elusiveness, strength, and vision have made up for it as he always seems to be going forward. Jacobs has broken 54 tackles this season, according to PFF, which leads the league.

There may be numerous times this Sunday where Jacobs is going to have to make his own yards, and he has shown he’s fully capable of doing that.

Another strategy could be to run off tackle to the left as that seems to be the lesser of evils among the New York front. They’re giving up 4.28 adjusted line yards off left tackle, which is 16th in the league but are top seven in every other direction. That means Kolton Miller could be even more crucial in the effectiveness of the run game if the Raiders choose to attack this area.

Overall, this Raider run game verse the Jets run defense is really going to be worth watching. It’s weird to say considering the Jets struggles this season, but this is the best run defense the Raiders will have faced this season. A one on one matchup to keep a lookout for is Jets Safety Jamal Adams against Jacobs.

Next. Oakland Raiders Week 12 X-Factors against the New York Jets. dark

Adams is playing elite football right now and loves to be up in the box or just right at the line a scrimmage (49% of his snaps). He also leads all safeties in tackles for loss, and we’ve already spoken on Jacobs’s ability to make people miss. Their one on one meetups in the hole will be very entertaining for all four quarters.