After seeing this match-up on the NFL schedule this week I have come to the mindset of do not expect too much.
The NFL this week has many fantastic match-ups, but when thinking of one those games as a fan I am not thinking Raiders Jaguars week seven. You are just not! Unless though you’re an Oakland or Jacksonville fan.
Since both teams are one and four record holders this game Sunday afternoon in Oakland has to be the first of many games to come that means nothing at all except for either team. Both teams these Sunday looks to make and put themselves another win in the standings thought both look terrible and non-playoff teams in 2012.
The Raiders this Sunday are coming off a very heartfelt loss to the only undefeated team in the NFL the Atlanta Falcons. Oakland went into Atlanta and the defense arrived! The Raiders caused Matt Ryan arguably right now the best quarterback in the NFL and picked him off three times. What Oakland also did was continue to pass the ball well with Carson Palmer and kept them within striking distance of beating the Falcons. Though in the end the Raiders found another way to lose and lost by three points in a 23-20 loss.
Now for Jacksonville they are coming off their bye week. Before heading into the bye week the Jaguars lost to a very strong and maybe Super Bowl contending team in the Chicago Bears by a score of 41-3. In 2012 the Jaguars hold another pathetic record coming into week seven at 1-4.
For both teams this game means everything to their coaches and players just trying to find the right groove to get on a winning streak. Although many fans like myself have no interest in watching, but if you are going to here are my three keys to watch for during this game.
Keys to watch for:
1) The Defenses. The true story for both the Raiders and the Jaguars are their terrible defenses. Though the Raiders defense showed some promise against the Falcons by intercepting Ryan three times, but they still ended up losing the game. The Jaguars are coming off a game when they gave up 41 points. If you’re at home looking at the statistics the Jaguars are the 22nd ranked defense while the Raiders are the 25th in the NFL. Both have given up over 135 points this season and have been terrible causing turnovers with both combining a total of six thanks to the three interceptions by the Raiders last Sunday. Also, the defenses are keys since both teams have lost games late and have given up a lot on the ground this year. Finally the Raiders defense has only sacked the quarterback four times this season look for them to try and get more pressure on Blane Gabbert a lot.
2) Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew. I said in my last Oakland Raiders preview that they need to get McFadden touches and chances for big runs. The Raiders did give McFadden the ball 27 times, but only got 70 yards on the ground. In 2012 Run DMC has done absolutely nothing to help the Raiders win. McFadden has only a total of 271 yards on the ground and has no rushing touchdowns. So if the Raiders want to win McFadden has to do to the Jaguars what he did last time they faced in 2010 when he ran all over them with over 200 yards on the ground. Now as it is for the Raiders so goes the Jaguars running back MJD. Drew this season has rushed for 408 total yards and has only gotten into the end zone once. Drew must find his groove early and run the Jaguars to victory as Gabbert this season is not your average NFL quarterback.
3) Raiders Go to WR. In 2012 the Oakland Raiders and Carson Palmer have truly had no go to receiver who he can trust or the fans can trust in my opinion. Palmer has thrown for 300 yards in multiple games this season, but has nothing to show in the touchdown portion of his statistics this season. In 2012 the Oakland Raiders wide receivers have combined for only five touchdowns. Besides not scoring by the wide outs the Raiders have no wide out play makers in 2012. Bother Denarius Moore and David Heyward-Bey have not what they were drafted for. Moore in 2012 has been the only good Raider receiver with 17 receptions for 287 yards and 2 touchdowns through the air. If the Raiders want to win and win decisively they must find the end zone with their wide outs and someone has to step up.
Oakland Raiders win 28-16.
I do believe that the changes shown by the Raiders during the Falcons game should transfer to a decisive win today against the NFL’s worst team the Jacksonville Jaguars. McFadden and Palmer should have a great day with Palmer throwing for 250 yards and we will finally see Run DMC again with a 150-yard rushing game in my opinion. Though do not count out Jacksonville because if the Raiders come out giving up penalties on defense look late for a Jaguar upset.