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Anatomy of a Play: Josh Jacobs’ 35-yard scamper

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NFL: Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Jacobs was one of the few bright spots this past weekend for the Raiders. Sprinkled throughout their epic drubbing at the hands of division rivals Kansas City Chiefs, the Raiders got some quality plays from the rookie RB.

The biggest run of the night was a 35-yard sprint around the offensive left side that gave the Raiders a chance to score at the end of the half. But how did the Raiders manage to get such a wide open running lane for Jacobs?

The set up

Let’s go back to the very first play from scrimmage from the Raiders offense. They lined up in 11 personnel (1 Back, 1 TE) and ran a play-action boot targeting Darren Waller in the flat. Waller is lined up off the line of scrimmage next to the LT and comes across the formation.

The next player to look at is Chiefs’ Safety Daniel Sorensen. Sorenson comes on a blitz and is able to disrupt this play by getting in Carr’s face.

Sorensen takes the cheese

Fast forward to Jacobs 35-yard run at the end of the half. A few things are the same:

  • The Raiders are in the same exact formation
  • Darren Waller comes across the fomation
  • Daniel Sorensen is in the game

Sorensen thinks he recognizes the play and abandons his gap in the run game in hopes that he can make a big play on what appears to be a bootleg. Only this time the Raiders are actually running the ball and the void Sorensen leaves allows Jacobs to accelerate into the second level.

Of course, there weren’t enough examples of plays like this coming to fruition for the Raiders. It’s telling that a non-scoring play was their best play of the game. The last several weeks the offense has taken a step back. They’ll need to create more explosive offense if they have a chance of righting the ship this week against the Titans.