One of the most important stats for a running back is how often is he getting first downs. Yards per carry and total rushing yards can be a bit noisy as getting seven yards on 3rd and 14 is pretty useless, as an example.
While Josh Jacobs did lead the NFL in rushing yards this season, it wasn’t due to a bunch of garbage yards. Instead, he was among the most efficient and effective backs in the league.
According to Pro Football Focus, Josh Jacobs led the NFL in rushing first downs (94) by a wide margin in 2022. No other player in the league even reached 70 rushing yards this season.
Josh Jacobs moved the chains far better than any rusher this season pic.twitter.com/wHlFWVTlpC
— PFF (@PFF) February 2, 2023
One of his strengths of Jacobs is that he’s just as good on third down as he is on fourth and short. He’s got the speed to rip off big runs as we saw in Seattle. But he also has the vision and power to get hard yards on third and short.
Jacobs is one of the most talented runners in the league and should be paid as such in free agency. Will that be by the Raiders or another team? That remains to be seen. But let’s be clear; Josh Jacobs is a special running back.
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