Heading into the battle against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Oakland Raiders had an opportunity to fight for the AFC West lead. Rookie running back Josh Jacobs was expected to be a big part of the game plan, and he responded with 55 yards early. With this early production, Jacobs topped 1,000 yards on the season, becoming the first rookie in franchise history to achieve the feat.
The first-round pick in Jacobs entered Sunday's game in need of only 43 rushing yards to reach 1,000 for the first time in his career. He started quickly, breaking a run of 12 yards on his first carry of the day. He followed this up with two separate eight-yard runs to bring him within 15 of his goal.
Interestingly enough, Jacobs actually reached 1,000 yards with one run that traveled the needed 15 yards. This wasn't an easy play as he had to fight through the middle of the Chiefs' defense and break two different tackles.
1,000 rushing yards and counting.December 1, 2019
This feat was viewed as more impressive considering that the Raiders have Hall of Fame running backs in their franchise history. Marcus Allen and Bo Jackson both played for the Silver and Black and are viewed as two of the greatest runners in league history. Granted, Allen's rookie season was shortened due to strikes, so he was only on the field for nine games. He finished the year with 697 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns.
When head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock selected Jacobs 24th overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, the move was met with some skepticism. The position of running back has been diminished in value over the past few years, which has led to a decrease of players drafted in the first round.
However, the Raiders needed a young star that could be the focal point of Gruden's offense, and Jacobs was the man to fit that role. His five 100-yard games have been critical for this Oakland team considering that it has provided balance for Derek Carr and the passing attack. Having Jacobs top the century mark hasn't always resulted in a victory, but it has certainly helped in games against the Cincinnati Bengals, Chicago Bears, and Detroit Lions.
The Oakland Raiders have plenty of issues to address before they are truly a contender in the AFC, especially on defense. Drafting Jacobs has solidified the rushing attack and given the Raiders a player to build around for the future.
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