ALAMEDA -- Raiders running back Josh Jacobs is off to a strong start. His snap counts suggest he’s the Silver and Black’s clear-cut feature back, taking most of the carries through two games.
He’s worthy of them, having churned out 184 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries. A total of 11 carries have resulted in first downs, per analytics site Pro Football Focus, with four rushes of 10-plus yards. That includes a 51-yarder through the right side and down the boundary on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Jacobs has done everything well thus far, though there’s one thing he hasn’t been asked to do much.
Jacobs has only been targeted once in the passing game despite 22 total snaps as a receiver, and he caught it and ran for a 28-yard pickup. The Alabama product simply hasn't been out on obvious passing downs, either.
Secondary backs Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington have only been targeted five times for 28 yards on four receptions.
Jacobs has played 68 snaps from the backfield while Washington and Richard have 43 combined, with a significant portion of those snaps given while Jacobs was getting an IV versus Kansas City.
Jacobs' light receiving load has raised some eyebrows, considering his prowess catching passes out of the backfield.
There’s some thought that the team might be saving that option for an important moment down the line. The Raiders, however, clearly want to unleash their first-round draft pick’s full potential.
“It’s still early in the season, early in the process,” offensive coordinator Greg Olson said. “We’re happy with Josh Jacobs and the way he’s running the football. When we have put the ball in his hands, he has produced. We’ll look to expand his role as well.”