By JL Herrera
The Oakland Raiders will host the Jacksonville Jaguars for Week 2 on Sunday afternoon, as both teams will step into the O.com Coliseum after losing their first Week 1 performances. The Jaguars loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1 was devastating because Jacksonville only scored two points. The Raiders, on the other hand, went down swinging against a tough Indianapolis Colts team while keeping their pride intact.
The matchup should be interesting, even though the Raiders will be favored. The performances from both teams in Week 1 are what determined the favorite, and the fact that the Raiders will be playing at home also determines the prediction of who might win.
Jaguars season record
The Jaguars lost to Kansas City on the opening weekend of the 2013 NFL season. The final score was 28-2, while playing at home. Yes, the Jaguars only managed to score two points at home against a team that did not get much praise during the off-season. So far, after their first week performance, Jacksonville did not make any kind of static and are bound for a bad season.
The Jaguars have one star on their roster, and it is running back Maurice Jones-Drew. The Jaguars are expected to run a heavy run scheme; however, the running scheme did not go well in Week 1 against the Chiefs. Jones-Drew only ran for 45 yards in 10 attempts. This rather low performance by Jones-Drew could have been due to fact that the running back came off a foot injury. Their passing game was not good, either. Jaguars third year quarterback, Blaine Gabbert, had two picks while only throwing for 121 yards.
Jaguars defense is still young and will have problems getting their act together this season in the long run. Basically, the defense is very inexperienced, and it will take time to put all the pieces together before the team can make any type of impact. Against the Chiefs, the defense only had one sack, and that was the highlight of the game. Chief Alex Smith tore up the Jaguars defense, while Jamaal Charles ran through them somewhat easily. One good stat for the Jaguars defense? Charles only ran for 77 yards, and that was the highest rusher against Jacksonville.
The main man for the Jacksonville Jaguars is running back Maurice Jones-Drew. This back is explosive and has had good running stats in the past, making him a favorite in fantasy football. However, last season, Jones-Drew suffered a foot injury that took him out for the season. Week 1 against the Chiefs was his first appearance since the injury, and his results were not good. He was held to less than 50 yards in rushing. Against the Raiders, Jones-Drew could possibly turn up the heat.
Another player to watch is linebacker Paul Posluszny who got 10 tackles against the Chiefs. He was the best performing defender and will most likely step up again against Oakland.
Last but not least, quarterback Blaine Gabbert is the other factor that could step up in week 2. He has shown prominent numbers for the Jaguars in the past, so expect to see him better prepared against Oakland.
What Raiders need to do
The Oakland Raiders will have to shut down the run against Jones-Drew, because if he blows up, Oakland will have a hard time winning the game as hosts.
They’ll also have to put pressure on Blaine Gabbert. Oakland did great against Andrew Luck in Week 1. If they keep up the same pressure against a weaker offensive line and quarterback, the Raiders should be fine.
Offensively, the Raiders should use a heavy dosage of Darren McFadden.
Terrelle Pryor should be fine scrambling around and improvising in the back as the Jaguars line seems to be weak at getting sacks or causing turnovers.
Jaguar Coach Gus Bradley
Gus Bradley is coaching as head coach for the first time in the NFL. He is defensive minded, as he used to be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebackers coach and the defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks. This guy has a tough job, for he was hired to rebuild the Jaguars defense. So far, things are looking rough for the guy. He will get something going on the defensive side, since he is a defense coach, but it will not happen in Week 2 against the Raiders—it’s too early in the season.
The Oakland Raiders and the Jacksonville Jaguars have met six times in regular season and postseason. The Jaguars have the upper hand as the record sits at 4-2. The last time the two met was in October 21 of last year, and the Raiders won in overtime 26-23. The match on Sunday will be the Jaguars chance to avenge last year’s loss, but Jacksonville’s weapons might not be enough to take down the Oakland Raiders.
For more Raiders news and updates, visit Raiders Central.
J.L. Herrera is a huge fan of football and has been following the Raiders since the 1980s during the LA era. J.L. is also a freelance writer and copywriter on the web. He taught English for a little more than a decade in Los Angeles at the secondary level. While writing for web based news outlets, J.L. enjoys reading, creative writing, and watching sports. His work can be found on Examiner.com.