A couple of weeks ago, the Las Vegas Raiders looked like one of the worst teams in the NFL. They were 2-7 and held the second-worst record in the league with a two-game road trip upcoming. However, they managed to pull out back-to-back overtime victories, including yesterday’s Week 12 40-34 win over the Seattle Seahawks.
The Raiders have been led by running back Josh Jacobs all season and that was never more prevalent than on Sunday as he was easily the team’s biggest individual winner.
WINNER: Josh Jacobs
We’ve reached a point in the year where Jacobs has to do something really special to be considered a “winner” because he’s set the standard so high all season. And being the first person do to something since Bo Jackson meets that standard, as noted in the tweet below. (One correction from the tweet, Jackson’s performance came in 1987).
Josh Jacobs' 229 rushing yards against the Seahawks is the most allowed to a single rusher in Seattle team history surpassing...— Curtis Crabtree (@Curtis_Crabtree) November 28, 2022
the 221 yards of Bo Jackson and the Los Angeles Raiders in 1989.
Jacobs also rushed for the most yards in a game (229) in Raiders history, according to the AP’s Josh Dubow, surpassing Napoleon Kaufman (227 vs Denver in 1997) and, once again, Jackson (221 vs Seattle in 1987). That’s some decent company to be in, and Jacobs also added 74 yards as a receiver to rack up over 300 yards from scrimmage on the afternoon.
The impending free agent eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark as a rusher, becoming the third back to do so this season and the statistical leader for the position with 1,159 yards, 111 more than Derrick Henry in second place. In other words, Jacobs made a ton of money yesterday...
LOSER: Foster Moreau
With Darren Waller being banged up for the majority of the season, Moreau has had plenty of opportunities to make a name for himself and prove that he can be an impact starter. However, he has failed to seize the opportunity.
Moreau has shown flashes of promise but has struggled to put a complete game and this weekend might have been the best example. He did have three catches for 33 yards and a touchdown, but he was targeted seven times and had one big drop, meaning he left yards on the table and wasn’t efficient with 0.94 yards per route run. The latter ranks tied for 30th among tight ends for the week.
The fourth-year pro also earned one of the lowest PFF run-blocking grades at the position for the week with a 50.8 mark that was 53rd out of 64 qualifiers. It feels like he’s squandering what could have been an opportunity for an impending free agent to make some money in the offseason.
For the first time all year, Las Vegas got consistent pass-rush production outside of Maxx Crosby. Now, Crosby still did his thing with 1.5 sacks and seven pressures on the afternoon, but it was the play of the guys around him that really stood out.
Coming into the contest, the most pressures Chandler Jones had in a game this season was four and he had only managed to get one in each of the four weeks leading up to the game. But against the Seahawks, he led the team with eight pressures and is currently tied for third among edge rushers for the week. This was the type of performance a lot of people have been waiting for.
The Raiders weren’t just winning on the edges, though. The interior guys, Bilal Nichols and Andrew Billings, were hitting home as well.
Both players logged their first sacks in the Silver and Black, a half for Nichols and one for Billings, with Billings’ coming on two different occasions — a half sack each time. Each also earned their highest single-game PFF pass-rush grade — 83.7 for Nichols and 82.1 for Billings — and the former tied for the most pressures he’s had in a game (four) while the latter set another season-best (three).
Sunday was the type of performance people have been waiting to see from the team’s defensive line and hopefully, a launching point for them moving forward. However, Billings did leave the game with an injury to put a small damper on the unit’s outlook. At the time of writing, there’s been no word on the severity so that’s something to monitor in the coming days.
LOSER: Rock Ya-Sin
Truth be told, it was hard to pick losers this week as the majority of the team played really well. Ya-Sin didn’t play terribly by any means but it was certainly far from his best performance.
He was targeted three times in coverage and allowed all three passes to be completed for 46 yards and a touchdown. Tyler Lockett proved to be a little too quick for Ya-Sin as the wideout did most of that damage with a couple of grabs for 40 yards and a score, to go along with drawing a penalty against Ya-Sin. Granted, the flag seemed to be a ticky-tack call.
Probably the biggest area of concern for the cornerback is his missed tackles. He had another whiff on Sunday, bringing his total up to nine on the campaign and six in the last four weeks. For comparison’s sake, he only missed eight tackles all of last season and currently is tied for the seventh most at the position across the league.
WINNER: Alex Bars
I’ve picked on Bars over the last several weeks as he’s been a frequent flier on the losers list, so it’s only fitting that I give him some praise and acknowledge his performance as a run blocker in Seattle.
From the broadcast booth, Adam Archuleta pointed out Bars a handful of times for making some excellent second-level blocks to help create rushing lanes for Jacobs, and that was reflected in Bars’ run-blocking grade for the week. His 75.6 grade was not only a personal best this season by over 12 points but also ranks sixth among all guards for the week (pre-Monday Night Football).
Seattle’s defensive line is no joke either so this could be a confidence-building performance for the four-year pro.
WINNER: Tyler Hall
After signing to the practice squad in mid-October and getting called up a couple of weeks ago, Hall has been a pleasant surprise for the Silver and Black over the last two games.
He easily could have been a winner last week with two receiving yards allowed on just one target to go along with two defensive stops and his first career sack. And he followed that up with just as good of a performance against the Seahawks, yielding one catch in two targets for four yards and a stop.
Over the last two weeks, Hall has earned a 75.4 overall grade from PFF which is the 11th-highest among cornerbacks. He also appears to have moved ahead of Amik Robertson on the depth chart, logging 50 defensive snaps in the last couple of games compared to Robertson’s 20, and Hall got the start at nickel in Seattle. Not bad for a guy who wasn’t even on a team at the beginning of last month.