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Raiders Mailbag: Can offense turn Josh Jacobs, Hunter Renfrow loose on Chiefs?

Mario Gallardo asks:

"Can we get JJ running the ball?"

I'm personally a huge advocate for giving Josh Jacobs the ball. Historically speaking, only good things happen when he's fed in high volume.

The Las Vegas Raiders have won every game this season when the 2022 rushing king has at least 19 carries. The Raiders are also a whooping 13-3 in games where Jacobs totals at least 100 rushing yards. The running back doesn't do it all by himself though. The blocking of Andre James, Dylan Parham and Greg Van Roten will need to be top-tier in order to get the run game going.

"Obviously, we don't want those touches to be at that 14 mark, that's not our number. Our magic number is 20 plus, and we got to stay with it," Antonio Pierce said Monday regarding Jacobs' production. "It's not always pretty. ... We've just got to remember that as we're calling it and stick with it. And I give Josh [Jacobs] a lot of credit, he's very patient. ... We've got the best running back in football, and we're going to use him, and we need to use him."

It's also worth noting the Chiefs defense is currently allowing the fifth-most rushing yards per attempt (4.5).

Max from Michigan asks:

"Is Isaiah Pola-Mao going to get more time on defense?"

Isaiah Pola-Mao saw an increased role against the Dolphins following Marcus Epps' exit.

After not playing more than 15 snaps in a game this season, the second-year safety saw 54 snaps against the Dolphins – resulting in a breakout performance. He totaled seven total tackles, one pass deflection and his first NFL career interception. His 84.3 defensive grade from Pro Football Focus was the second-highest on the team.

"I've known Isaiah since he was younger, he's a very athletic safety," Pierce, who recruited Pola-Mao while coaching at Arizona State, said. "You saw that there on that deep ball, came out the post and went and got it. I thought he was very physical in the game. Here's a guy – you know how it is during the week, the starters get all the reps. He might have got a handful of reps, but you couldn't tell, came in right away and was very impactful, very physical in the run game. And obviously he has some traits in the backend to cover a lot of ground for us."

It's still unknown whether Epps will be good to go for Sunday's game as he was limited in practice Wednesday, but regardless, it's fair to say Pola-Mao may earn more reps moving forward. Best thing he can do is continue to stay ready for when his name is called.

"We preach it all the time, don't blink," Pola-Mao said. "I'm sure it's the same everywhere, next man up mentality. Prepare the whole week like you're going to play, you never know what's going to happen."

Marco Casanova said:

"Hopefully Kolton Miller plays! We need him."

In the words of Antonio Pierce, "We have him, we're a better team."

The Raiders left tackle has missed the previous two games with a shoulder injury. Miller was a limited participant in a few practices last week before ultimately being ruled inactive on gameday, and was again limited on Wednesday this week. He's currently graded as one of the best offensive tackles in the league by Pro Football Focus, with an 83 offensive grade and an 84.5 pass blocking grade.

Pierce said Tuesday it "looks like he's trending in the right direction" which should serve as a sign optimism heading into Sunday's game.

Anthony Chico from California said:

"Renfrow is on your team, use him."

The Raiders offense has heard you loud and clear, Anthony.

After having six catches for 59 yards through the first six games of the season, things have begun to shift for Hunter Renfrow.

With interim offensive coordinator Bo Hardegree calling plays, Renfrow's production has slowly increased week by week – with five catches for 42 yards against the Dolphins, including a highlight reel 31-yard snag that's earned him the nickname "Crazy Legs" from his interim head coach.

"You watched that run the other day – you don't know where he's going, you don't know how he's doing what he's doing, he's not very fast but he's efficient," Pierce said in a one-on-one interview. "It's good to see him happy. It's good to see him smiling and loving football again. That's what I'm proud of and excited for him. ... When he gets going, it uplifts everybody else, which is the damnedest thing. I'm excited that we're obviously finding ways to get him the ball because he is a special player."

The Las Vegas Raiders donated 600 Thanksgiving meals to Three Square Food Bank and welcomed select families to Intermountain Health Performance Center for a holiday meal with players before picking up their donated meal packages.

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