This recap was very nearly about a different Josh — but by the time the whistle blew, it was the guy with both a jersey and a team on his back who gets the spotlight here. Honestly, as I searched the thesaurus for words to describe what Josh Jacobs did on Sunday afternoon in Seattle, nothing seemed to rise to the occasion.
And so, we’ll skip words and go with numbers.
Three hundred and three.
That’s the number of yards Josh Jacobs amassed on Sunday across thirty-nine touches — but if you think that type of load wears him down, then look no further than the 86-yard, walk-off touchdown run that came on number 39 itself.
And yeah — it wasn’t just the 229 yards he ran for, it was also the 74 receiving yards (the same number as Davante Adams) — including some of the highlight reel variety.
So yes, it was the grand yardage total — and the way it all looked — but even more important than both of those things was his timing. While the 86-yard scamper in overtime will be remembered (rightfully so), let’s not let it overshadow the fact that it was just part of the 224 yards Jacobs gained after halftime in this one.
And the end result? A second straight overtime win on the road — this one their first win against a team that could be considered a “quality opponent” — and a tad more momentum for the Raiders in a season that was left for dead 14 days ago.
Offensive headline: Josh Takes Spotlight Off of Josh
Since Mr. Jacobs got his shine already, it’s time to talk about Mr. McDaniels now.
What on earth are we doing here?!?
Maybe this won’t be a universal opinion — and that’s okay — but the level of cluelessness and conservatism displayed by a guy coaching a 3-7 team on the road was shameful in my book.
To be clear: nobody is going to handle every key decision perfectly, but I’m honestly struggling to find a key “coaching” moment that I agreed with.
The first big one was just before the end of the first half — with 42 seconds left and the offense on the Seattle 43, the Raiders faced a Fourth and 2 after Seattle called a timeout. Rather than set up a play, McDaniels instructed the offense to try and draw a defender offside (unsuccessfully) before burning his first timeout of the half.
Then, they successfully converted the fourth down call on an 8-yard run by Jacobs, who also got out of bounds. On first down, Mack Hollins failed to get out of bounds, causing them to burn timeout number two — now with 28 seconds left. 17-yard gain to Moreau, timeout No. 3.
After a Carr scramble and with 14 seconds still on the clock — McDaniels opted to kick a field goal, a decision he felt forced into because….he wasted a timeout moments earlier on a hopeless dummy count. If not for the thoughtlessness, the Raiders could have had one — or even two — shots at the end zone from the Seattle 13.
Not to be outdone, on the Raiders’ first possession after halftime, there was more dysfunction. After marching down the field, the Raiders faced third-and-four from the Seattle 10 — dialing up a run play with third-string running back Ameer Abdullah (his first of the season). When he came up a yard short, McDaniels — facing fourth and one inside the opponent’s 10 — brought out the field goal unit.
According to win percentage calculations, this decision reduced the Raiders’ odds of winning the game by nearly four percent. The Raiders were 3-7 on the road and have a defense that struggled to stop anyone — why in the world are you settling for three points when your ground game was averaging six yards a carry? Mind-boggling.
But wait…there’s more!
Two drives later, the Raiders are facing fourth and inches from their own 48. If you watch football on the weekends, you know that in this situation, a QB sneak has a seemingly flawless success rate. So with the announcers saying as much, surely Carr will just dive forward, right?
Nope. Pitch play, loss of one, turnover on downs.
The Seahawks score on the ensuing possession, the Raiders respond with a touchdown of their own and then get a stop with 40 seconds remaining on the clock — just enough time for Derek Carr and Davante Adams to get into scoring range, right?
Nope. Cowardice wins the day, and the Raiders decide to run out the clock.
Obviously, things worked out for the Raiders in the end, but in my mind, this team won in spite of their coach on Sunday. Over and over again, their coach failed to put them in the best positions to win — he lacked conviction, he lacked creativity, and in some cases, he simply lacked common sense.
Defensive Headline: Maxx Crosby, GAME WRECKER
Maxx Crosby doesn’t take snaps off.
Coming into the game, he led all defensive linemen in snaps played this season — and, like Jacobs, fatigue seems to be a foreign concept.
When the Raiders scored to tie things up with 1:54 left in the game, all of Raider Nation held their breath, knowing the defense that had allowed 34 points already was in desperate need of a stop.
After one first down followed by a pair of incompletions, the Seahawks were facing third-and-10 from their own 35. It was play number 60 on the day for the Raiders defense, but Crosby didn’t seem to care.
As soon as the ball was snapped, Crosby treated rookie right tackle Abraham Lewis like he was a blocking sled, putting him on skates and directly into the path of quarterback Geno Smith. Once he was close enough, Crosby reached out with his left hand — his right still engaged by Lucas — and brought Smith to the ground for a 5-yard sack.
When the Raiders missed a field goal to begin overtime, the defense was forced back onto the field — which was bad news for Lucas. On third-and-five, Crosby took over once again — unable to secure a sack but forcing Smith to flick the ball aimlessly, resulting in yet another punt.
Play 60? Sack. Play 63? Back-breaking pressure.
Maxx Crosby is an absolute savage.
Player of the Game: Josh Jacobs
HE GONE‼️‼️@iAM_JoshJacobs OT GAME WINNER.
📺: CBS pic.twitter.com/8JtHrsHSR2
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) November 28, 2022
Odds and Ends
- This wasn’t Derek Carr’s best game by any stretch of the imagination, but I have to give him credit for keeping his head and making plays when they were needed. His first pass of the game was intercepted — as was another pass before the first quarter was even over with. And yet, by the time Jacobs ended this one, Carr’s line read 295 yards and 3 touchdowns.
- Kenneth Walker III might be the favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year in some places, but credit to the Raiders’ defensive front for putting a dent in that campaign. Walker finished with just 26 yards on 14 carries (Seattle running backs finished with 17 carries for 36 total yards) in this one — making them far too predictable in crunch time.
- The Raiders entered the game having forced just six turnovers on the season, but they got a pair of gifts from Geno Smith in this one — first, a pick that hit Denzel Perryman in the hands and then a fumble on a botched play-action fake.
- Speaking of Perryman: he’s quietly having another fantastic season for the Raiders. He finished the day with 9 tackles — two for a loss — plus the interception and a pass deflection. Alongside Bilal Nichols and Andrew Billings, Perryman deserves the most credit for stifling Walker all afternoon.