1. Make a bigger commitment to the running game
Back in 2019, the then-Oakland Raiders used the second of three first-round picks on running back Josh Jacobs. The former University of Alabama standout has yet to play a full season. But the numbers are impressive. A Pro Bowler in 2020, the hard-running performer has finished with at least 1,200 yards from scrimmage in each of his three seasons. And he’s scored 28 touchdowns in 43 regular contests.
When he’s been on the field the past three years, he’s made life easier for quarterback Derek Carr. This past season, he finished third on the club with a career-high 54 receptions, good for 348 yards. He ran 13 times for 83 yards and caught four passes for 44 yards in the heartbreaking wild card loss at Cincinnati.
“For it to end that way, it was a hell of an effort,” explained Jacobs to Mark Inabinett of AL.com “We got all the way down there to the red zone, and it came down to the last play. Obviously, you’re disappointed because it didn’t go how you wanted it to, but I’m not mad at the effort and the fight that the guys showed.”
Despite running for 872 yards and nine scores this year, Jacobs was part of a Raiders’ team that finished gained the fifth-fewest yards on the ground in 2021. Getting him the ball more and stressing the ground game, in general, would help the team in many aspects.