Raiders New Identity Starts With Josh Jacobs and a Dominant Offensive Line

For all the great fantasy football stats being put up by quarterbacks and receivers this year, it was interesting to see that the aerial assaults in the NFL this week didn’t necessarily translate to wins.

In fact, it was quite the opposite. While Derek Carr was being criticized for a conservative throw chart, teams that were pass-happy this weekend didn’t have anywhere near the success that more balanced offensives were able to achieve.

Rick Gosselin on Twitter

There were nine 300-yard passers in the NFL last week. Their teams went 4-5. There were eight 100-yard rushers. Their teams went 7-1.

The Raiders offered a great example on Sunday of what a strong running game can still accomplish in the NFL. The Bears have one of the best defenses in the league, but were worn down for four quarters by the Raiders offensive line – which is starting to feel like one of the best in the league again.

Some were critical of the Raiders decision to draft a running back in the first round, but with Gruden’s dedication to the run, why not dedicate a high pick to a player designated to get the ball 29 times in a game? Pro Football Focus has graded Josh Jacobs as not only the highest-rated first-round pick in the draft through five weeks, but also the highest-graded rookie in the league. Gruden’s offense has finally found an identity and it’s the smash-mouth ball control bully that everyone was afraid he would try to build…

Only now it doesn’t seem quite as trendy to mock him for it.

And yes, this was one of the outlets starting to question whether or not Gruden still had it in him. At this point, it’s becoming a little hard not to think he does.

twitter: @raidersbeat


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