You may be wondering, what was on Josh Jacobs' mind when he walked in Allegiant Stadium on Sunday?
"At the beginning of the game, I told the guys, 'Today's the day. I'm going to set the tone,'" Jacobs said postgame, with a game ball tucked in his arm. "I knew we were going to take the ball at the beginning of the game, so I was like, 'I'm going to come in and set the tone.' And that's what I tried to do today."
Jacobs' play didn't just set the tone for his team, but the atmosphere in Allegiant Stadium, propelling the Raiders to their first win of the season, 32-23 over the Broncos. In the first three weeks of action, Jacobs averaged 14 carries and 64 yards – unusual for the 2020 Pro Bowler who averaged over 18 carries and 70 yards a game his first two seasons.
In the Week 4 win, there was nothing pedestrian about his 28 carries, two rushing touchdowns and career-high 144 rushing yards
Josh Jacobs is a damn baller. Maxx Crosby
"He's one of the best runners that I've ever been around," Head Coach Josh McDaniels said. "Take that for what it's worth, I've been around some good ones. He has a great ability to make yards after contact. He has a great ability to make yards even if there's not a whole lot there right away. ...They were trying to strip at it, punch at it tonight. They do a great job of creating fumbles, we talked about it all week.
"I was really proud of our team that we didn't have any on the ground. JJ, with as much as he touched it, he did a good job."
Maxx Crosby, who recorded two sacks on the day, had a lot of time to marvel at his teammate on the sidelines. Crosby and Jacobs were both drafted together in 2019, and the edge rusher is extremely complementary of Jacobs' 86 second-half rushing yards to finish the game.
"Josh Jacobs is a damn baller," said Crosby. "That's been my brother since day one. I'm so happy for him. He went down there and closed the game and he's done that many times before, as we all know. I'm super fired up for him."
Jacobs believes his dominant performance "was a testament to the offensive line" as the unit forged forward to help the Raiders compile 212 rushing yards.
He's well aware the Raiders have a tough primetime matchup ahead against another AFC West foe, so it's encouraging to see the team trending upward after a rough start to the season.
"I can feel the passion in the guys that we know what we're capable of," said Jacobs. "We didn't even play a great game today. There's still a lot of things we have to improve on, but you can see that it's there. There's hope that we can see it and we're finally reaping some of the benefits of the work we've been putting in."
View photos from the Raiders' Week 4 matchup against the Denver Broncos at Allegiant Stadium.