The Oakland Raiders take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Black Hole Sunday afternoon. Today’s game jump starts a strings of games that could possibly help the Raiders (1-4) put together a mini-winning streak, which could get them back into the division race.
What more could a struggling team ask for, than to play another struggling team in the confines of your home stadium.
The Jaguars have always played the Raiders tough, and had a come from behind victory in their last meeting two years ago in Jacksonville (38-31). Since 2001, the Jaguars are 3-0 against the Raiders. Oakland needs to change that trend starting today.
Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer, is statistically on pace to having a career season passing yards wise, but still lacks the mental fortitude to get it done in crunch time when its needed the most. Palmer must orchestrate touchdown scoring drives to take the Jags out of the ball game early.
As far as running back Darren McFadden goes, he should have a huge game against a team that ranks 3oth against the run. Offensively, this team has made strides, but the running game still lacks that omnipresent attack that Raider Nation had grown accustomed to in recent years. Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, better not “screw the pooch” with his play calling this game, because this offense should have a field day against the Jag’s defense.
Defensively, for the rest of the season, the Raiders defense should live up to their standard of play last week against the Falcons (minus the last drive of course). Which means Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert should be on his a#% all day today. Simply put, if you’re able to contain and disrupt one of the elite quarterbacks in the game in Falcons’ QB Matt Ryan, there’s no reason Gabbert should come close to performing better than Ryan.
Against the run last week, the Raiders were stout and held Falcons’ running back Michael Turner in check. Maurice Jones-Drew is a different type of beast, and must be met at the line of scrimmage like Turner was last week. The Raiders D also has to guard against running plays on the perimeter as well. If Oakland stuffs the Jaguars rushing attack, this game should be a “Reynolds (Wrap)”. But if you play around against a team like this, the Black Hole might get ugly real quickly.
Head coach Dennis Allen must find a way to lead the Silver and Black to victory in winnable ball games, because as far as the season goes, that’s the only thing that could possibly put them back into contention for the division. Let’s see if the rookie coach can motivate this squad to take care of business against a low-level Jaguars team.
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Written by Arthur Kai