Raiders Wild Card vs Bengals: 3 key matchups to watch
Josh Jacobs vs Bengals Defense
Now onto the Raiders running back against the Bengals defense. This is now a key matchup in itself as the once lethargic and non-existent running game for the Raiders has finally gained some legs in recent weeks.
For the better part of this season, the running game spearheaded by third-year back Josh Jacobs was one of the worst in all of football — at least that was until recently. Jacobs after not rushing for 100 yards or more once this season, has now gone over the century mark in two of his last three games.
The numbers suggest the passing game has been the biggest key in this Raider season, but this is merely following such a dominating first half of the season. Since the Raiders came off of their Week eight bye, quarterback Derek Carr has only managed to throw for 300 yards once.
With a now dangerous running game to rely on, it seems the onus will once again be on Jacobs to lead this offense to victory. Although he was only able to muster 37 yards rushing in the last matchup against Cincinnati, this was due to the fact he only received nine carries, as the Raiders trailed the majority of the contest.
Look for the improvement of not only Jacobs, but this offensive line to determine if the Raiders will make it past this Wild Card round.