What a season it has been for Josh Jacobs.
The Raiders knew the rookie running back was a special talent, but he has surpassed even the most optimistic expectations for his inaugural NFL season.
Jacobs has been a workhorse for the Silver and Black, breaking Marcus Allen's Raiders rookie rushing record in Week 9, and he made even more history Sunday during the Raiders' Week 13 tilt with the Chiefs. With the Raiders trailing 7-0 in the first quarter, Jacobs took a handoff on first-and-10 and raced for 15 yards to become the first Raiders rookie to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark.
[RELATED: Jacobs setting lofty standards amid stellar rookie season]
With limited tread put on his tires at Alabama, the Raiders are content to give Jacobs as many carries as he can handle.
He has proven he can carry the load.
The Raiders challenged for the playoffs last season, but if the data-driven Pro Football Focus player rankings are to be believed, Las Vegas’ new NFL team may struggle to do that again.
No Raiders made PFF’s top 50, but nine players from their three AFC West rivals were ranked.
Five of those were from the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs — quarterback Patrick Mahomes at No. 2, defensive tackle Chris Jones at No. 16, tight end Travis Kelce at No. 19, wide receiver Tyreek Hill at No. 22 and offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz at No. 23.
It’s an old tradition that will carry on in the Raiders’ new Las Vegas home.
The Al Davis Memorial Torch will continue to be lit in honor of the late longtime team owner. It made its Vegas debut Wednesday, displayed through the massive retractable lanai doors in the backdrop at Allegiant Stadium:
It’s a more updated version of the original torch, but the message remains the same. According to Raiders.com, the vision is “the fire that burns brightest in the Raiders’ organization is the will to win.” That was a quote by the late Davis and before every home game, fans pay tribute to him with a flick of the flame.
Former Raiders and celebrities have lit the flame, including Bay Area-native rapper MC Hammer, former Super Bowl-winning coach John Madden, Marshawn Lynch and many, many more.
[RELATED: Raiders moving training facility from Napa to Nevada]
Current owner Mark Davis admitted he was sweating a little bit on the construction of the 65,000-foot, $2 billion stadium in time for the July 31 deadline.
For now, at least a part of Al Davis will be there.
[RAIDERS TALK: Listen to the latest episode]