The Las Vegas Raiders played their first game on Sunday and they got a 34-30 win over the Panthers thanks in large part to a player they hope will be integral to their success in their new home.
Running back Josh Jacobs scored three touchdowns, including the game-winner, in a performance that led head coach Jon Gruden to heap praise on the second-year player. Gruden said that Jacobs played “a little bit like Walter Payton used to play” while picking up 93 rushing yards and 46 receiving yards.
Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr also called Jacobs “special,” but the back said he’s more focused on things that didn’t go well.
“I just feel regular, honestly,” Jacobs said, via the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I had a pretty good game, but there’s a lot I can correct. I know there’s a couple plays I look back and think, ‘Dang, I missed a backdoor cut there.’ That’s the kind of thing I try to hold myself to is having a perfect game and try to come back better next week.”
Jacobs’ four catches were more than he had in any game during his rookie season and he said after the game that his receiving skills were “the thing I worked on the most in the offseason.” Continued growth in that area should lead to more postgame praise from Gruden in the coming weeks.