Josh Jacobs Eying Raiders Record Book, Currently has Highest PFF Running Back Grade in the League

The Raiders added a long list of rookies and veterans to the roster in the offseason, but none have made quite the impact of rookie running back Josh Jacobs.

Jacobs needs only 77 yards to reach 1,000 yards on the season and his 4.83 yards-per-carry ranks only behind Christian McAffrey (5.32) and Nick Chubb (5.03) among starting running backs in the NFL. From a team perspective, the Raiders have only had a running back eclipse 1,000 yards rushing twice in the past 12 years – Darren McFadden in 2010 and Latavius Murray in 2015. Marcus Allen’s single-season team record for rushing yards in a season might be a little out of reach (1,759), but Napoleon Kaufman (1,294) is second on the list and Jacobs is on pace to finish with just under 1,500 rushing yards.

Beyond the box score numbers, Jacobs is Pro Football Focus’s top-graded running back in the NFL this year – rated above McAffrey, Dalvin Cook, and every other notable runner in the league. That’s a high honor for anyone, but even more impressive for a running back in his first NFL season.

At this point, Jacobs is a virtual lock to win Rookie of the Year if he can stay healthy. His presence in the backfield has transformed Jon Gruden’s offense and completely shifted the narrative on the Khalil Mack trade. Most importantly, the Raiders are winning and you could make a case that the Raiders would be a 3 or 4 win team without him.

Fortunately, though, we’ll never have to find out.

On Sunday, Jacobs will face what should be his toughest test of the season. Statistically, the Jets have the best run defense in the league and it isn’t because they aren’t being tested. They are giving up just 79.1 rushing yards per game and only 3.0 yards per carry – both of which are league-leading averages.

Josh Jacobs (and his powerful O-line) or the Jets stout run defense… which side will concede first?

Whatever happens, you can bet Gruden won’t shy away from attacking the Jets at their strength. Tough run defense or not, Gruden will want to own the trenches right out of the gate. He might even double down and run at them more. Just a guess here… Jacobs is going to have his best day on the ground yet.

twitter: @raidersbeat


3 thoughts on “Josh Jacobs Eying Raiders Record Book, Currently has Highest PFF Running Back Grade in the League

  1. I see Foster Moreau and possibly Ingold being involved more, as both are showing they can block and some soft red zone mitts. Foster and Alec will help nuetralize Adams and give them essentially 7 OL, with Waller and either TW or Hunter out there.

  2. Man, I heard about the situation with Janoris Jenkins. Apparently he got in trouble for insulting a fan. Because of that, the New York Giants kicked him off the team! That’s crazy…

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