There were few silver linings for the Las Vegas Raiders to take solace in during a disappointing 2020 NFL season.
The Raiders had a number of promising rookies fall vastly short of expectations this year. Fortunately, the class of 2019 was able to do their part thanks to the efforts of running back Josh Jacobs along with defensive ends Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby.
Jacobs once again thrived in his role as one of the focal points of this offense after enjoying a second consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season en route to Pro Bowl honors for the first time. Unfortunately, it was hardly enough to avoid yet another late-season debacle by the Raiders that resulted in their 8-8 finish.
Las Vegas is well aware of the notable voids they must fill on their roster if they hope to bounce back this offseason. Despite another strong performance, Jacobs is not getting too caught up in his major contributions from this season.
According to Tashan Reed of The Athletic, Jacobs is adamant about doing what he can to take that next step and help this team achieve a winning record:
“In my head, I’m already thinking about next year and what I can do to take that next leap,” Jacobs said. “I’m not satisfied with how I did this year and how the team did. The playoffs was definitely my goal, or to at least have a winning record. For me, it’s: How do I get the guys motivated, and how do I get myself ready to take that leap?”
Jacobs’ comments are indicative of his mindset as a foundational piece of this franchise. Although he has done all he can to help the Raiders win from an individual standpoint, the former first-round pick is still looking for ways to fine-tune his valuable skill set.
This is not the first time Jacobs has been intent on making such a commitment. While he may have finished 1,150 yards and seven touchdowns in just 13 games as a rookie, head coach Jon Gruden expressed his desire to get him more involved in the passing game moving forward.
Jacobs managed to do just that by hauling in 33 receptions for 238 yards as a receiver out of the backfield. Even though his average yards per carry dropped off from this year (3.9) to that of his rookie season (4.75), it is safe to say that the injuries along the offensive line played a part in this and he should get back on track in 2021.