This week, the Jaguars face a tough challenge in the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders have young talent across their team and have played well this season. If the Jaguars want to beat them, they'll have to play a perfect game. Michael Crabtree is the Raiders' biggest offensive threat, as he and QB Derek Carr have great synergy and work well together. Pressuring Carr will be difficult, as their offensive line is playing really well this season. Defensively, the Raiders have an average secondary that can be picked on if we can protect Bortles from pass rusher Khalil Mack, one of the most dominant players in the NFL.
The Jaguars can keep this one close, but I don't think they'll pull out the W here.
Final Score: OAK 28, JAX 24
Travis' 2016 Record: 2-3
As you’ve probably read already, the Oakland Raider defense is horrible against the run and routinely gets gashed by their opposition. It would be a disparaging sign if the Jaguars couldn’t get the ball moving versus one of the current weakest defenses in the league. What could be worse is, if we have another slow start like what the Jaguars unfortunately have been accustomed to, the Raiders top ten offense could pounce on us quick.
The Jaguars will need to do what they did in the fourth quarter of last weeks’ game against the Bears. That is, play with tempo on offense and spread the ball to all three of our extremely talented receivers. Jacksonville also, like we say every week, NEEDS to get the run-game going. Our struggling running backs will continue to be ineffective if Greg Olsen continues to call slow developing run plays. We need to commit to a power run formation and mix up inside and outside runs to stay on top of a very talented Raiders linebacking core.
After watching the film of the Jaguars last game, our defense excels doing two things; Blitzing and playing bump-and-run coverage with our corners. The Jaguars were successful in the second half because we took our corners out of zone-coverage and played man-to-man coverage on the outside with Ramsey and Amukamara. The Raiders, like the Bears, have very talented receivers, which combined with Derek Carr, will be able to pick apart our secondary if they are left in zone-coverage against a four man pass rush. We need to commit at least five to rushing the quarterback on every third down and challenge Derek Carr to make an accurate throw under duress.
I’m actually confident that the Jaguars will get to .500 on the year with a win over the Raiders this Sunday. Jags win!
Final Score: OAK 28, JAX 34
Zach's 2016 Record: 1-4 (yikes!)
The Jaguars come into this week winning two straight games and have a good chance at a .500 record. While the Raiders are a formidable team, their defense has been suspect ranking 24th in points per game, 32nd in yards per game, 32nd against the pass and 30th against the run. Even if the Jags can't maintain balance against the Raiders, they shouldn't have any trouble moving the ball.
Offensively the Jaguars just need to be themselves. Having already mentioned Oakland being ranked last against the pass, Blake Bortles and company should have a field day against this shaky secondary. Running backs Chris Ivory and TJ Yeldon both don't need to have a good game this week, they just need to do enough to keep the defense honest. Left tackle Kelvin Beachum has been limited in practice this week but is likely to play and will be a huge key in keeping Bortles upright in this one going up against both Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin. If the Jags can have success doing what they do best, making explosive plays down the field, that will definitely improve their chances.
Defensively, the Jags could be in some trouble. The Raiders come in offensively ranked in the top 13 in every offensive category, primarily 11th in points per game and 8th in yards. With guards Vidal Alexander and Gabe Jackson being limited in practice this week and are questionable along with center Rodney Hudson, the middle of the defense needs to have a dominant game both rushing the quarterback and stopping the run. Stopping the receiving duo of Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper will be a focal point in this one as they have emerged as one of the top corps in the league. With the benching of cornerback Davon House this week Prince Amukamara, Aaron Colvin and rookie Jalen Ramsey will now be the starters. I believe this upgrades the defense but they will need to play well going up against Derek Carr and company. Bottom line, if the Jags can make plays down the field and limit them on the other side of the ball I believe they can beat the Raiders.
Final Score: OAK 31, JAX 37
Cody's 2016 Record: 4-1 (impressive)
I'll keep this short and sweet. The Jaguars have a defense that is quickly moving their way towards "elite" status. They face a Raiders offense that is already considered one of the best in the league, and with good reason - The combination of a consistent QB in Derek Carr, two very good receivers in Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, a solid offensive line, and an above average running game makes the Raiders as formidable as any offense in the league. On the other side of the ball it's a battle of weakness vs weakness. The Jaguars offense hasn't found it's stride yet in 2016, and they are the worst running team in the NFL. They face the worst defense in the NFL. The Raiders are worst against the pass and third worst against the run.
In order to be taken seriously, by fans and the media alike, the Jaguars must win this football game. They are in prime position to take control of the AFC South, but they must win this one to avoid a 2-4 start to 2016. Playing at home against a west coast visitor will help, and the Jaguars will find a way to score when it matters and get a couple of crucial stops in the second half.
Final Score: OAK 24, JAX 30
Jordan's 2016 Record: 2-3 (meh)
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