The Las Vegas Raiders got off to a horrific 2-7 start to the season but found signs of life after winning four of five games heading into Week 16 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. They even somehow found themselves back in the playoff race. However, it was clearly a mistake to consider this team a possible playoff team.
With the season on the line, the Raiders’ offense put together a dud performance against a struggling Steelers team and could only muster 10 points in the 13-10 loss. The team’s defense often gets blamed for losses but they did everything they could to give the offense an opportunity to beat Pittsburgh. Running back Josh Jacobs was recently elevated to the role of team captain and has arguably been their best player this season. He couldn’t hide his emotions after the loss and laid out exactly what he was thinking.
”It’s bulls***,” Jacobs said. “It’s bulls***. And it’s on us. Everybody wants to talk about the defense, but they made their stops when they’re supposed to. We have to help them out. … And I am tired of saying that. It’s frustrating.”
Despite Jacobs having Pro Bowl season, the Raiders only handed the ball off to him 15 times while Derek Carr threw it 30 times. Considering it was the coldest game of the season for Las Vegas, the running back questioned the team’s playcalling.
“We still had opportunities to make plays,” Jacobs said. “I felt like we were close and about to get a big one and we went away from it.
“The passing game was working early, so … that is what it is, but to win these games when you’re up and especially in the cold, you gotta run the ball. … That’s a factor on everybody involved, from top to bottom.”
Jacobs Doesn’t Know What Else to Do
Jacobs has been with the Raiders for four seasons now and he’s been a part of numerous late-season collapses. This year is no different with recent losses to the Los Angeles Rams and Steelers on last-second touchdowns. It looked like the Raiders turned over a new leaf last season when they made the playoffs but now they’re back to being the same old team that can’t win games when it matters.
For his part, Jacobs doesn’t know what ails the team but he’s getting fed up with it.
“I’m tired of dealing with this s***,” Jacobs said. “I’m tired of dealing with this s***. Every day I come here and bust my a**. I see the guys bust their a** and the result is not there.
“For me, the last four years, the result hasn’t been there. And quite frankly, I don’t know what else to do.”
Jacobs Will Be a Free Agent
It’s looking like the Raiders did Jacobs a big favor by not picking up the fifth-year option on his contract. He’s going to get a nice payday in the offseason. The Raiders would be wise to keep him. He’s an elite running back, a team leader and just 24 years old. However, it’s looking more likely he might want a fresh start.
He’s clearly frustrated with the team and it’s hard to imagine things changing much unless the Raiders replace Josh McDaniels as head coach. That’s highly unlikely as owner Mark Davis has said he plans to retain the coach. Unless the team uses the franchise tag on Jacobs, it’s looking likely he’ll be playing elsewhere in 2023.