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Jacobs Gives Raiders What Allen, Daniels Did

Josh Jacobs of the Las Vegas Raiders continues his emergence as one of the best running back in the NFL, and memories of Marcus Allen and Clem Daniels are refreshed.

Josh Jacobs of the Las Vegas Raiders has become one of the best running backs in the National Football League in less than four seasons, leading the NFL in rushing by more than 100 yards this year.

The Jacobs 5-10, 220-pound Jacobs wowed the league with his 303-yard performance last Sunday, rushing for 229 yards, including an 86-yard walk-off touchdown in overtime, and adding 74 receiving yards in a 40-34 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

Not only that, Jacobs’ dual-threat ability is reminding long-time Raider Nation members of probably the two most excellent running back in franchise history, Marcus Allen and Clem Daniels.

“I’m running out of superlatives [about Jacobs],” Coach Josh McDaniels said after last Sunday’s game. “Over 300 total yards in a game. It didn’t feel perfect, but he just, I think, [he has] toughness. He’s a football player. That’s probably the greatest compliment I could give him. He comes up big. He had a couple of big first downs on third-and-short. I’m not sure everybody in the league gets those, but he did. And then, of course, he makes the big play at the end.

“I thought he was tremendous throughout. He gave us a lot of hard yards in the running game, caught the ball well out of the backfield, made some big plays with his hands. That’s JJ. That's what he is.”

Jacobs has 1,149 yards rushing and nine touchdowns this season and has caught 40 passes for 325 yards and another score.

For his career, Jacobs has climbed to seventh on the Raiders’ all-time rushing list with 4,246 yards, one yard behind Darren McFadden, and 37 touchdowns, and figures to move up to at least fifth this season. He also has 147 receptions for 1,077 yards.

Pro Football Hall of Famer Allen, who played at 6-2 and 210 pounds, leads the Raiders all-time with 8,545 yards rushing and 79 touchdowns, in addition to catching 587 passes for 5,411 yards and 21 touchdowns in his brilliant career.

Jacobs was awed when Allen approached him to have a discussion after a game earlier this season.

“He didn’t tell me he was coming,” said Jacobs, thrilled by Allen, who has become a mentor for him. “But right after the game, I talked to him. We had a ... conversation in the hallway. To be able to take the time, and you know, mentor me and talk to me about things he’s seeing ... it’s been huge for me, especially him being who he is.

“And being a great running back in this game, to be able to take the time and, you know, mentor me and talk to me about things that he’s seeing and things like that, I don’t really take that for granted. To be able to have him here and be happy for me to is definitely huge for me.”

Jacobs added that Allen told him: “They should’ve been running you [more] all along.”

Daniels, who passed away in 2019 at age 81, led the American Football League with 1,099 yards rushing in 1963, was the league’s Most Valuable Player that season, all-time leading rusher and made the All-Time AFL Team (1960-69).

The 6-1, 220-pound Daniels is the third-leading rusher on the Raiders’ all-time list with 5,103 yards and 30 touchdowns, in addition to catching 203 passes for 3,314 yards and 24 touchdowns despite a knee injury late in 1967 that kept him out of Super Bowl II and cost him probably five more seasons in his career.

Daniels was lethal out of the backfield, so fast that even none of the Kansas City Chiefs’ vaunted linebacking corps of Willie Lanier, Bobby Bell, and Jim Lynch could stay with him, and strong-armed quarterback Daryle Lamonica would hit Daniels for long gains down the field and touchdowns behind the secondary.

Jacobs is starting to remind Raider Nation of these two greats, and in fact, he’s been doing it for a while.

The Raiders' game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium kicks off at 4:25 p.m. EST/1:25 p.m. PST. You can see that game on CBS.

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