Jaguars end losing streak with comeback win over Raiders: 3 takeaways
2. Travis Etienne played a key role in the Jaguars’ win over the Raiders
It may be a matter of perception but it feels like forever since the Jags sent James Robinson to the New York Jets. Travis Etienne has certainly helped forget Robinson, as he’s gone on to log 265 yards and three trips to the end zone since the trade happened two weeks ago.
Of course, Etienne’s talent was never in question, even after missing the 2021 season with a Lisfranc injury. Simply, it was curious how he was going to respond to being part of a running back committee. Later when Jacksonville traded Robinson, it was fair to wonder how Etienne was going to fare and he hasn’t disappointed.
In fact, Etienne was highly productive even when he was sharing the backfield with Robison, which is one of the reasons the team’s brass might’ve felt comfortable trading the latter. Since Week 5, the former Clemon Tiger has toted the rock 86 times for 436 yards with four touchdowns.
Although Etienne averaged 3.89 carries against the Raiders, he often gained yards in chunks and moved the chains several times. Moreover, the coaching staff kept feeding him the ball late in the game even though he frequently got stuffed by Las Vegas’ defense in the first half. After the game, Doug Pederson talked about the sophomore’s increased workload.
“We know he’s going to be the guy”, Pederson said. “We just got to continue to find ways to get him touches in this game and really every game moving forward. As a staff, we got to be smart in how much we use them. I don’t want to wear him out but at the same time, we’re going to keep using him in situations to be successful”.
Etienne has 680 rushing yards and if he continues his current pace, he could be among the NFL’s rushing leaders by the end of the season. Heck, at this point, a Pro Bowl berth might not be unrealistic.