Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs had his best overall game on Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers, finishing with 139 total yards and recording his first touchdown of the season. But once again, the Raiders bit themselves in the foot and dropped another close game, 24-17.
The Raiders turned the ball over three times, including an interception in the end zone, with the Raiders looking to tie the game on their final possession. The Raiders also committed nine penalties, including a costly unnecessary roughness penalty that led to defensive lineman Jerry Tillery being ejected.
Those self-inflicted wounds are what is frustrating Jacobs the most. The star running back said that the Raiders won’t turn things around until they start playing more disciplined, via Paul Gutierrez of ESPN:
“It’s undisciplined football, and this league is too competitive,” Jacobs said. “It’s too competitive and it’s too many guys that’s good out there to not do the little things right every play. Until we figure that out, this is going to be what it is.
“It’s frustrating, man. And I mean, I feel like every day I go in there and work my ass off. So, eventually something’s got to give.”
Penalties and turnovers will always be the equalizer in the NFL, and the Raiders continue to cost themselves. The 10 turnovers are second-most in the NFL, and they rank fourth in penalty yards. The margin for error for this team is thin, and Jacobs understands that these mistakes are keeping them from picking up wins.
The Raiders have shown flashes and had a chance to tie the game late in two of their three losses, but in the eyes of Jacobs, it just makes things worse to see how close they are:
“Nah, man, that makes it worse, man, because that just means five to six plays, you do them right, that’s the difference in the outcome of the game,” Jacobs said. “But at the same time, you’re tired of saying, ‘Five or six plays is the difference in the outcome of the game.'”
The good news for the Raiders is that it is still early enough in the season to fix these issues and begin turning things around. A 1-3 start is not what anyone hoped for, and it has some fans ready to move on to a new coach, but if this team can become a more disciplined version of themselves, there is still plenty of time to make a postseason push.