Run Game Takes Over
The Raiders run game has been a big part of their success this year. Rookie sensation Josh Jacobs has been amazing on his way to potentially snagging an Offensive Rookie of the Year award, all while nursing a fractured shoulder he obtained Week 6 against the Packers.
Last week, we saw DeAndre Washington step up in a big way in the absence of Jacobs. Washington rushed for 85 yards and one touchdown on 23 carries in the Raiders 24-17 win over the Chargers. Jalen Richard added 11 yards on the ground as well, but it was clear which back Gruden preferred in the each facet of the offense, as Richard had almost as many receptions as he did carries.
The Broncos possess the leagues 18th best run defense giving up 112 yards a game and an average of 4.2 yards a carry. they’ve given up 90+ rushing yards in their last 3 games, the biggest one coming against the Texans in week 14 where they gave up 134 total rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. The Raiders on the other hand have the 13th best rushing offense averaging 119 yards a game and just as many per carry as the Broncos give up.
The biggest wildcard will be whether Josh Jacobs is able to suit up this week or not. Obviously the offense is much better with him in there. But with how Jon Gruden likes to control the clock and as we clearly saw from last week, he has no problem pounding the rock with the other backs he has at his disposal. Expect them to establish the run early and with great success as they try to continue the smash mouth style of football they’ve drawn success from all year.