FBG says: Great matchup. Firmly established as the Raiders' bell cow runner, Josh Jacobs is consistently producing like one. He's taken on 15+ attempts in 6 straight games, turning them into an average of 97 yards. At 4.8 yards per rush on the year, he's been one of football's most effective lead runners. Just last Thursday, he supplied the game-winning touchdown on an 18-yard run that left the Chargers' entire linebacking corps grasping at air. Jacobs benefits from a strong front line, which got back both left tackle Trent Brown and center Rodney Hudson last week. When those two suit up, the Raiders boast Matt Bitonti's sixth-ranked line, graded an A+ in run blocking. There are no clear speed bumps in front of Jacobs from week to week, and he couldn't ask for a more attractive matchup this Sunday. The Raiders should spend the day winning at the point of attack, freeing up Jacobs to use his quickness and second gear against the Bengals' weak second level. Chunk runs should abound.
The Bengals continue to flail mightily with the league's worst run defense. They've given up more yardage than anyone, both per carry (5.1) and per game (172), and opponents have already scored 12 times on the ground. They've struggled against power runners like Leonard Fournette, but also looked woefully ill-equipped to contain speed runners like Lamar Jackson and David Johnson. Last Sunday, Jackson racked up 65 yards and a touchdown, just 3 games removed from his 152-yard eruption in this matchup. With such a weak crop of linebackers and safeties, the Bengals just don't look capable of containing the Raiders' Josh Jacobs, who does a lot of damage when escorted onto the second level. The team did take a proactive step this week in releasing linebacker Preston Brown, who's long struggled to stay with runners in the open field. But Jacobs should have his way with the likes of Nick Vigil and Jordan Evans, two of 2019's worst run-supporting linebackers. Behind them, safeties Jessie Bates and Shawn Williams have disappointed all season after a promising 2018. Week after week, all opponents project at the high end of their spectrums against the Bengals. With both matchup and game flow typically on their side, opposing runners can flex their muscles in this matchup, and Jacobs is no exception.