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Josh Jacobs Running Straight to the Bank

Josh Jacobs had one of the best offensive games ever for an NFL running back and he should reap the benefits this upcoming offseason as a free agent.

In the grand scheme of NFL player values, we’re all aware of how largely expandable running backs are. A recent Statista study shows that while the length of an average NFL career is 3.3 years, it’s just 2.57 years for running backs, the shortest span among all the position groups.

That’s why what Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs is doing this season is so important. A free agent after the season, the 24-year-old had one of the best games in the 63-season history of the storied franchise. He ran for 229 yards and had 74 receiving yards in a 40-34 overtime win over the Seattle Seahawks Sunday to keep the team barely alive in the AFC playoff hunt.

Sunday’s performance was a single-game Raider record for yards from scrimmage and the seventh-most in a single game in the Super Bowl era. Jacobs’ 86-yard run in OT to win it was not only the longest run in the NFL so far this season, but the second-longest run in the history of NFL overtimes and the fourth-longest NFL OT play from scrimmage.

Jacobs put his game-winning scamper in the simplest of terms after the W.

“When I hit the gap, I see a big hole and I just tried to run as fast as I can,” Jacobs said.

He became the fourth player in the Super Bowl era to have 300 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns, and the first to do it since Adrian Peterson in 2007. Jacobs is the first player since at least 1950 with at least 225 rushing yards and 70 yards receiving in the same game. Oh, and did we mention Jacobs is an unrestricted free agent after the season?

About a month ago, Boardroom estimated Jacobs’ upcoming contract value at four years and just over $47 million. But look at these current league ranks Jacobs is bringing and tell us he’s not worth more:

  • No. 1 in rushing yards with 1,159
  • No. 1 with 105.4 running yards per game
  • No. 1 among non-QBs in all-purpose yards with 1,484
  • No. 3 in rushing attempts with 116
  • No. 4 with nine rushing touchdowns
  • No. 5 among running backs with 5.4 yards per rush
  • No. 7 in total touchdowns among non-QBs with nine
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Jacobs is among the most valuable non-quarterbacks in the league on offense right now, carrying the Raiders on his broad shoulders. While most thought New York Giants star Saquon Barkley would lead this running back free agent class, Jacobs is putting up better numbers right now and is 369 days younger.

“He’s hard to bring down. He’s a tough runner with good balance. You really gotta wrap him up,” Seattle defensive tackle Shelby Harris said. “He’s not one of those backs that gets touched and falls. He makes his money off of breaking tackles and getting those extra yards.”

Jacobs trails just Tennessee Titans bowling ball Derrick Henry in total rushing yards after contact with 534, and his 2.5 YAC per rushing attempt leads the league among ‘backers with at least 200 attempts.

While the Raiders are +1800 to make the playoffs right now at FanDuel SportsBook, it’s becoming more likely by the week that Josh Jacobs is going to really cash in on his next contract, a rarity for any NFL running back.

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About The Author
Shlomo Sprung
Shlomo Sprung
Shlomo Sprung is a Senior Staff Writer at Boardroom. He has more than a decade of experience in journalism, with past work appearing in Forbes, MLB.com, Awful Announcing, and The Sporting News. He graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 2011, and his Twitter and Spotify addictions are well under control. Just ask him.