The NBA’s biggest Oakland Raiders fan is Damian Lillard and it ain’t close. The Portland Trail Blazers star grew up minutes away from the team’s stadium and is a lifelong fan. Dame predicted early in the offseason that the Raiders were in for a big year and so far, he hasn’t been too far off base.
At 3-2, Jon Gruden’s squad has exceeded expectations, especially considering all the turmoil the team had to deal with. Despite Lillard threatening to remove his Raiders tattoo if the team cut Antonio Brown, he’s still riding with his hometown team. As most fans of Oakland’s football team would agree, it’s not easy rooting for them. Lillard shared the stress most of Raider Nation had during Sunday’s close win versus the Chicago Bears.
Dame probably wasn’t the only fan who had five panic attacks in that third quarter when the Raiders gave up 21 unanswered points. Fortunately for the sanity of the entire Raider fan base, they were able to come back in the fourth quarter and pull off the win. It wasn’t a perfect win, but there was one player who gave as close to a perfect performance as a player can and that’s rookie Josh Jacobs. Lillard was quick to give massive praise for the impressive running back.
He’s not the only one to give Jacobs this kind of praise. Raider legend Marcus Allen said that the rookie is “destined for greatness.” The high praise for Jacobs isn’t going to stop anytime soon if he keeps putting up performances like the one against the Bears. Just how impressive was his performance? The Bears defense was only allowing 61.5 rushing yards per game before Week 5, which was good for third-best in the NFL. They held the Vikings’ Dalvin Cook to only 35 rushing yards, who is second in the NFL in rushing yards and is in the midst of a great season. Jacobs ran for 123 yards and scored two touchdowns. That’s easily the best production a running back has had against the Bears defense in 2019.
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Is Josh Jacobs the Favorite to Win Rookie of the Year?
Josh Jacobs was a hot pick for rookie of the year well before the season started and now his odds of winning the award should go up significantly after Sunday’s performance. He’s currently sixth in the NFL in rushing yards and is tied for sixth in rushing touchdowns. Three of the last four offensive rookies of the year winners have been running backs and Jacobs is the best of the 2019 class. The only real competition he should face is Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback, Garden Minshew, who has come out of nowhere to become a massive star.
If the season ended today, it would be a really close call between Jacobs and Minshew for the award. However, what works in Jacobs’ favor is that the Jaguars’ original starter, Nick Foles, could come back later in the season once he recovers from his injury. If they make the decision to bench Minshew for Foles, that would kill his shot at rookie of the year. Regardless, Jacobs will have a really good shot at winning the award.