2020 Las Vegas Raiders over/under: Josh Jacobs 60 catches
The Case for the Over
Derek Carr may be the man getting all the headlines early in camp, but the Raiders best chance of making the playoffs in 2020 is on the shoulders of Josh Jacobs. While there is plenty of talent on the offensive side of the ball, Jacobs is the straw the stirs the drink.
Jacobs catch total of 20 from a year ago is sure to grow in 2020 with the absence of DeAndre Washington, who caught 36 balls on 41 targets.
Yes, the addition of Lynn Bowden Jr. you would think could cut into some of the target share, but keep in mind, he is a rookie who is making a position change from a wide receiver and quarterback at the college level to a running back in the NFL. Bowden could need extra time to develop due to the fact offseason programs were lost to the COVID-19 pandemic.
I would expect Jacobs to see a larger role in the passing game based on that fact alone.
Also, if you read into the comments from Mike Mayock at the combine, and Greg Olson last week at training camp, they both agree Jacobs needs to be more involved in the passing game. Back in February at the combine, Mayock spoke to reporters about how he expects Jacobs to have a larger role in the passing attack.
“Josh, obviously had a great year,” said Mayock at the combine. “We couldn’t be happier with Josh. Josh can catch a football and I think challenge number one for him, in year two, is developing those talents.”
Those sentiments were shared by offensive coordinator, Greg Olson when he spoke to members of the media last week.
“We want him to become the complete back,” said Olson of Jacobs. “We need you to get better at the route running out of the backfield, as well as the extended formation. So that was the homework assignment in the offseason.”
Jacobs received the message loud and clear and made a concerted effort to work on that part of his game.
“I worked on a lot of things that receivers do,” said Jacobs of becoming a better route runner. “Not necessarily just running back routes. Whether it’s getting off the line, or how to stack on top once you get vertical or anything like that. I’ve just been working on all the little technical things that receivers do.”
Jacobs has defied the odds his entire life, if the man says he wants to catch 60 balls, I believe he can do it.
And finally, in the latest episode of my podcast, Just Pod Baby. I spoke with NBC Sports Bay area reporter, Soctt Bair about what he expects from Jacobs in year two.
“Top five numbers, absolutely” said Bair of where he expects Jacobs to rank among running backs in total yards. “You know kind of weighing that, like what’s realistic. An1,800 yard all purpose season? I mean gosh, he had 1,300 last year and missed three games and was pretty hurt in the others.”
You can hear the full interview below.
Bair could not stop gushing over his love for Jacobs game and even went on to compare him to Hall of Famer, Emmitt Smith. Anyone who follows the team understand how special of a talent Jacobs truly is, getting the ball into his hands both on the ground and through the air as much as possible will bode well for the offense.