Shut Down The Jacksonville Running Game
Without a doubt, many out there are wondering – what Jaguars running game? And given the fact that the Jags are currently sporting the league’s thirty-first best rushing attack, it’s an understandable sentiment.
It’s also a potentially fatal sentiment to have.
The Raiders have had a nasty, nasty habit this season of letting teams with middling to poor ground games look like they’ve got absolutely beastly rushing attacks. They’ve given up more than 130 yards per game to Atlanta (139), Tennessee (181), Baltimore (130), and Kansas City (183). The only teams they’ve held under 100 yards are New Orleans (88) and San Diego (72).
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So, as you can see, the Raiders can ill afford to take anybody’s ground game for granted.
Though not off to a great statistical start, Jags running back T.J. Yeldon has been able to break a few here and there. And let’s not forget about their acquisition of Chris Ivory, who’s had a few decent games in the league – and a couple of those against the Raiders.
Outside of Yeldon and Ivory, the Jaguars don’t have much in the way of a threat on the ground. If the Raiders can do something they’ve not proven capable of doing yet this season – shutting down an opposing running back – they’ll force Blake Bortles to have to win the game on his own.
If there was ever going to be a chance for Oakland’s run defense to get on track and get a feel for what it’s like to take away a team’s ground game, this would be it. If they can’t manage to shut down the Jacksonville backs, it could be yet another long day for this defensive unit.