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Josh Jacobs gets desired workload, but Raiders offense still struggles

Josh Jacobs called last week for 20 to 25 touches Sunday against the Chiefs at Allegiant Stadium, and the Raiders would gleefully honor his request.

The defending rushing champion carried 20 times for 110 yards and caught four passes for 15 yards.

And yet the Raiders floundered again anyway, failing for the 11th time to score 20 points offensively.

Said Jacobs, dejectedly, after a 31-17 loss in a mostly empty locker room devoid again of celebratory cigars: “We started fast. We started how we wanted to. We just didn’t sustain it toward the end.”

The Raiders ran out of steam offensively and struggled to move the ball beyond their first three possessions, during which Jacobs rushed 10 times for 93 yards — and the 63-yard touchdown that propelled them to a 14-0 lead. But his ensuing 10 carries covered 17 yards, and his final run was doomed before the ball was snapped: A 2-yard loss on a predictable fourth-and-1 give up the middle, triggering a turnover on downs amid a 28-17 deficit with 6:29 to play.

“We didn’t execute,” interim coach Antonio Pierce said of the fourth-down failure. “Poor execution. Poor alignment. Didn’t give ourselves a chance. The play was over before we snapped it.”

Pierce also said the Raiders expect to run the ball effectively, and they didn’t have an issue executing during their first three drives when Jacobs was featured behind an offensive front that generated a push and formed creases for him to run through. None more opportune than one opened by left tackle Kolton Miller and tight end Michael Mayer with 12:51 to play in the first half, yielding the 63-yard score.

After fielding a handoff from quarterback Aidan O’Connell, Jacobs cut off tackle and accelerated down the left sideline — stiff-arming Chiefs safety Mike Edwards altogether out of the play for his longest run this season.

Asked about the play, Jacobs said succinctly, “It was all right, I guess.”

Jacobs wouldn’t run again for more than 5 yards, explaining the Chiefs didn’t deviate from their defensive game plan. But an offense that totaled 221 yards on its first three possessions would manage only 146 on its next seven drives.

“I didn’t even feel like they …,” said Jacobs, his voice trailing into a midsentence stop. “Naw. Naw. Naw.

“We had an adjustment to their adjustment. It just didn’t work out that way.”

The NFL’s leader in carries with 220, Jacobs said the bye week is happening at the right time for the Raiders, who are 12th at 5-7 among 16 teams in the AFC standings.

Their season resumes Dec. 10 at Allegiant Stadium against the Minnesota Vikings.

Jacobs plans to be ready for their return.

“It’s been a long time for a lot of these guys being in the building or whatever. It’s just being able to get your body right and be fresh and things like that,” he said.

Contact Sam Gordon at sgordon@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BySamGordon on X.

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