I can’t think of the last time this ever happened. Perhaps it hasn’t. The Raiders have legitimate Rookie of the Year candidate on both sides of the ball.
First up is Josh Jacobs. What he was able to do in 13 games was astounding. The fact that he played seven of those games with a broken shoulder, is even more astounding.
Even if you remove the shoulder from the equation, jacobs is easily the favorite for the Offensive Rookie of the Year. No one else really even stands out enough to threaten that.
His 1150 rushing yards were 261 yards above the next most by a rookie. As was his 4.75 yards per carry. And his 88.5 yards per game was third in the league. No other rookie was in the top 20.
Rookies at other positions didn’t come close to comparing against their peers as Jacobs did. While he was top eight at his position in yards, yards per carry (4.75), and yards per game, no other offensive rookie came close at his respective position. The best was Kyler Murray whose 3722 passing yards were 15th. He also had the 11th most interceptions (12). Though Murray did add 544 rushing yards. All of that translated to five wins.
On the other side of the ball for the Raiders was Maxx Crosby. The 4th round pick was the lowest drafted player among the top ten in sacks. His 10.0 sacks were second in the NFL among rookies behind only Josh Allen’s 10.5.
Crosby had one more sack than Nick Bosa. But when it comes to pressures and QB hits, Bosa outshone his draft classmates. Including a rookie record 80 pressures. Crosby had 45 and Allen had 49. Though, to be fair, Crosby wasn’t seeing a lot of snaps early in the season, so that must be taken into consideration. Also, opposing offenses have to drop back to pass a lot and usually that comes with having to come from behind. The 49ers did that to a lot of teams this year.
Despite coming off the bench the first part of the season, Crosby tied Bosa with 16 tackles for loss.
There were a few categories in which Crosby was by far the best of his fellow rookie pass rushers. Crosby had more run stops (23), forced fumbles (4) and passes defended (4) than either Bosa or Allen. Crosby’s four forced fumbles led all rookies at any position.
That makes him a more well-rounded player. Whether the voters will care about that is another question.
Other players who have made a case for rookie of the year include Pittsburgh inside linebacker Devin Bush whose 109 combined tackles led all rookies and his 9 tackles for loss is fourth behind…well these three.
Here are the top rookie of the year candidates and how they compare by the numbers.
|Defensive stats||Maxx Crosby||Nick Bosa||Josh Allen|
|Tackle for loss||16||16||11|
|Offensive stats||Josh Jacobs||David Montgomery`||Miles Sanders|
|Yards per game||88.5||55.6||51.1|
|Yards per carry||4.75||3.67||4.57|
|Offensive stats||AJ Brown||Terry McLaurin|
|Yards per game||65.7||65.6|
|Offensive stats||Kyler Murray||Gardner Minshew|