The Oakland Raiders will play their home opener in Week 2 against the Jacksonville Jaguars in front of a sold out crowd. They will look to take the positives out of their season opener against the Indianapolis Colts and carry them over into this weekend. Both the Raiders and Jaguars started off the season with losses.
Jacksonville will be short-handed at the quarterback position with Blaine Gabbert injured. With Gabbert out, former Miami Dolphin Chad Henne will be starting.
The Raiders and Jaguars have only faced each other six times and the Jaguars have put up a favorable record of 4-2 against the Raiders in past games.
The last time these two teams met, Gabbert and Maurice Jones-Drew were injured early in the game. Sebastian Janikowski nailed a game-winning field goal in overtime to give the Raiders a 26-23 victory.
In the Jaguars opener, they were weak in their offensive line but their young secondary looked good overall, despite a blown coverage to that lead to a touchdown. A rushed Gabbert threw two interceptions. Jacksonville only had 178 yards total on offense and their only points were scored on a safety.
Maurice Jones-Drew had 45 yards on 15 carries, but two of his carries were 19-yard runs, so on his remaining 13 carries. Jones-Drew rushed for only 26 yards. Cecil Shorts could not get open early in the game and recorded three catches for 40 yards, all three coming after the first half. Also, with the veteran Mercedes Lewis out last week, Gabbert was missing an inside receiver and stout blocker.
The Raiders opened up the season very strong against a talented Andrew Luck in Indianapolis. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor had a franchise record in rushing yards by a QB and the Raiders played a solid game.
Pryor should have more time in the pocket this week facing a weaker defensive line. More pocket time will cause a decrease in his rushing numbers due to less scrambling from a collapsed pocket. The option will also play a big part in the Raiders game plan due to Pryor’s ability to run the ball, as he rushed for 112 yards on 13 attempts last Sunday.
Jacksonville’s linebackers showed a lack of the ability to cover quick slants across the middle. With the Jags’ inability to cover the slant well and an increased pocket time, Pryor will be expected to pass the ball much more this week.
The Raiders secondary will not be expecting much action this week with Gabbert out and Jones-Drew continuing to be the workhorse.
The key for the Raiders to win this game is to play like they did against the Colts and shut down Maurice Jones-Drew. The Raiders stopping the run will lead to Chad Henne make mistakes in the air, having only worked with the first team offense for one week.