Josh Jacobs will be even more of a weapon for Raiders in 2020
By Brad Weiss
Josh Jacobs was amazing as a rookie for the Oakland Raiders in 2019, and next season in Las Vegas he should be even more of a weapon.
It did not take long for Josh Jacobs to make his mark as a member of the Oakland Raiders, as the team took center stage in primetime in Week 1. Playing in from of the Oakland faithful, Jacobs led the Raiders to a victory over division rival Denver, racking up 85 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the team’s 24-16 win.
The following week, Jacobs battled through an injury to rush for nearly 100 yards on only 12 carries against the Kansas City Chiefs. Proving to be well worth his first round pricetag, Jacobs became the first Raiders rookie running back to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season, finishing with 1,150 yards in 13 starts.
For his rookie season, Jacobs finished in the top-10 in rushing yards, yards per carry (4.8), and rushing yards per game (88.5), all while doing most of his damage with a fractured shoulder. Jacobs injured the shoulder in his biggest output game of the season, when he rushed for 124 yards against the Green Bay Packers in Week 7.
A week earlier, he led the Raiders to an upset victory in London over Khalil Mack and the Chicago Bears, the man the Raiders traded to the Bears for the pick he was selected with. In that game, Jacobs rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns.
The favorite to win the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, Jacobs sat out two of the last three games of the season, which will benefit the organization in the long run. As he enters his second season in the NFL, Jacobs will be expected to shoulder the load for the Silver and Black once again, this time in Las Vegas.
Due to his fractured shoulder, Jacobs was not able to be used much in the passing game, something he was outstanding at during his time at Alabama. In 2020, Jacobs will be more involved in the passing game for the Raiders, making him an even more dangerous weapon than he was in Year 1 at the NFL level.
Last season, Jacobs was targeted only 27 times, hauling in 20 passes for 166 yards and eight first downs. Next season, those totals should at least double, as he has the pass-catching ability to be a true dual-threat option out of the backfield.
Oakland had major issues with the wide receiver group this past season, and had to heavily rely on tight end Darren Waller, who made his case for NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year. Though Las Vegas will have to add talent on the outside, especially in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, having a talented back like Jacobs in the passing game will make this offense downright elite.
The bottom line is, Jacobs was a God Send at the running back position this season, and showed flashes of the kind of potential that could make him the top back in the AFC for years to come. The Raiders got a special player, and person with the No. 24 overall selection last April, and healthy in 2020, he is going to dominate in the run, and pass game.