While the Las Vegas Raiders got very little through the air offensively against the Kansas City Chiefs, the same can’t be said for the ground game. Despite Josh Jacobs being out, Antonio Pierce’s team got a huge boost from backup Zamir White.
The second-year back took 22 carries for a career-high 145 yards and was a consistent force for the Raiders offense on a day when there wasn’t much else to speak of on that side of the ball. It also showed that perhaps White is capable of a bigger role within this offense.
With Jacobs being a free agent this offseason, some may wonder whether the Raiders could be fine in moving on from him, but Pierce made it clear that Jacobs remains one of the premier players at his position and a big part of the Raiders.
“Like we evaluate everything, good players play,” Pierce said. “If you’re a good player and you’re producing and helping us win, you win. But don’t get it fooled, I mean Josh Jacobs is one of the best running backs in the National Football League.”
There is no doubt that Jacobs’ numbers are down from a year ago, but he has still had some big games for the Raiders when they have fed him the ball. Against the Chiefs, it was White who needed to step up in Jacobs’ absence, and Pierce praised the back for doing just that.
“If we have somebody who can help us out and contribute, it’s going to be right in that room, and Zeus [Zamir White] knows that. It was really good to see him finish the game the way he finished. Very strong, very violent, very explosive. Everything we’ve been seeing in practice came to fruition yesterday.”
At the very least White could be showing that he is capable of a bigger role in the Raiders offense even when Jacobs returns from a quad injury that has kept him out the last two games. White has 39 carries in these two contests and is averaging 5.5 yards per carry. But the back had just 20 carries total this season prior to that.
The Raiders have a ton of weapons on offense, and it is up to Pierce to figure out how to best utilize them. White is now emerging as another potential piece who can help this team, and if he continues to perform at this level it will be hard to keep him off the field.