With his team down 28-10 early in the second half, Josh Jacobs took a handoff from Derek Carr, cut left, then cut back outside, ultimately galloping down the right sideline before sticking his left shoulder into Charvarius Ward to finish a 51-yard run, the longest of his young career.
“The whole time when I got out, I kind of knew it was going to break,” explained the rookie running back when asked about the run. “I could kind of feel it a couple of players before that one was about to bust, and it just happened to be that play. I tried to pick up my legs, and just get as much as I could.”
And although the Raiders’ offense didn’t get any points out of Jacobs’ effort, the fact remains, that even down big in the second half, the Silver and Black weren’t content to roll over and watch the clock tick towards zero – heck, their young running back was still willing to put his shoulder into a defensive back to punctuate his longest run of the day.
“I don’t want to be labeled as a soft back, I guess,” Jacobs said. “I’m still young, so for right now, my body can take those kinds of hits.”
Through two games, Jacobs has 212 all-purpose yards, and although the Raiders ended up falling to the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday afternoon at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, the rookie running back is looking at the outing through a positive prism.
“It was definitely just a learning experience,” he explained. “Something that we’re going to take into tomorrow, just trying to get better, see where we went wrong, trying to improve.”
Fellow rookie Hunter Renfrow – who finished his Week 2 outing with four catches for 30 yards – also looked at Sunday’s defeat as an opportunity to get better, and while the Kansas City offense came on in a hurry in the second quarter, the former Clemson Tiger never felt like his team was completely out of contention.
“No matter, young guys, old guys, the team has to finish, and I felt like we didn’t just give up,” Renfrow explained. “It was 28-10 at half. We had some opportunities there, but that’s going to be big for us down the season, because we’re going to be down later on in the season. We’re going to have to fight back, and win these games. It was good, and I was encouraged to see all the guys still positive on the sideline, and still fighting.”
He continued, “optimism is definitely tangible, and I feel like we stayed optimistic, just had a few things that didn’t go our way at the end, but no one gave up, and that’s going to bode well for us.”
Jacobs echoed the sentiment of his teammate, adding that even down late in regulation, there was never a sense of disinterest from Jon Gruden’s team.
“I’m a competitor,” Jacobs added. “Just as long as there’s time on the clock, I feel like we have a chance, and that’s just me wanting to compete, wanting to win me just wanting to do the best I can for this team, so I’m glad that the guys felt the same way.”
Check out photos from the Raiders' regular season matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
Following the Week 2 loss, the Raiders and their 1-1 record will hit the road for what can only be described as the gauntlet of their schedule – the team won’t return to the friendly confines of the OACC until November 3.
And while a quick look at the calendar could be intimidating for some, Jacobs and the Raiders are taking it in stride, and using Sunday’s effort as a barometer of where they are, and where they need to get better in 2019.
“Like I said, for them [Kansas City] being as good of a team as they are, using that as a measuring stick to see where we are, just trying to improve each day, I think that we played a lot better than what the scoreboard said,” Jacobs said. “We just have to make big plays when we need it. We’re going to be alright.”