ALAMEDA – Josh Jacobs had his best game as an NFL player in London, totaling massive numbers in a 24-21 victory over the Chicago Bears.
The Raiders rookie running back had 123 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries, a monster sum that led the Raiders to a huge win that pushed them to 3-2 and into the thick of the AFC West race.
That’s a great game, right? Wrong, apparently.
The Raiders running back never judges his game based on the box score, and saw flaws aplenty in a seemingly standout performance in a series of excellent showings.
“People think I had a good game last weekend, but there was a lot that I need to improve on, a lot that I missed and a lot that I messed up,” Jacobs said. “From the outside looking in it probably looked good, but it really wasn’t that great.”
Jacobs said he missed a few protections, missed making proper reads. Then there was the audible call he missed that led to a turnover, and he said he took a play outside instead of cutting upfield.
Those mistakes are the focus over all the positives easily gleaned from that game, that Jacobs is a tough runner with patience and vision who finds unique ways to take extra yards required to keep the Raiders on schedule.
That’s part of Jacobs’ nature -- a trait that won’t ever go away. He’ll always be a hard grader, even when things look great to an untrained eye.
“That’s me wanting to be the best,” Jacobs said. “There’s always something you can improve on. That’s how I look at it. Some of the best games I’ve played in stats-wise, you wouldn’t notice the mistakes. For me, it’s about putting it all together.”
Jacobs might be honed on playing a truly complete game, but he has become an offensive centerpiece that his teammates certainly appreciate.
“Josh is a professional football player,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “…It’s unbelievable how good he is. I can give him the ball and he’ll make eight guys miss and we’re all high fiving after a first down. It’s a luxury as a quarterback, one of the things you see with Zeke Elliott or Saquon Barkley or Todd Gurley, guys who you can give the ball to and get 10 yards. It takes a lot of stress off a quarterback, a play caller and an offensive line that I guy can do things like that. …He has been good for us.”