Gridiron Gab Week Seven Preview – Jacksonville at Oakland

The Radiers and Jaguars have had some entertaining games the past few seasons, but the games always seem to be in Jacksonville. Sunday in week seven, the Raiders will get a shot to play the hosts, as they host Jacksonville in a late afternoon affair.

Oakland played well in their last game, losing Sunday in Atlanta to the undefeated Falcons 23-20, in a game that not many had them even close to winning.

The silver and black, who are 1-4, put up up season highs with 474 total yards and 149 yards rushing while picking off their first three passes of the season in the loss.

Carson Palmer responded from throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown with 2:40 left by leading an 80-yard drive that Darren McFadden capped off with a 2-yard scoring run, but Oakland lost again as Matt Bryant nailed a 55-yard field goal with one second left.

“We’ve got to learn how to finish and win those types of games,” first-year coach Dennis Allen said. “That’s what our job is. This is a production business. It’s about winning and losing, and we weren’t able to get it done yesterday.”

The Jaguars are coming off an awful loss two weeks back, and have had time to think about it with the bye week. They were pounded at home by Chicago 41-3, and that was a week after they were smoked at home by the Bengals 27-10, meaning they have lost the last two games by a combined score of 68-13.

“I think the answers are in this building,” said coach Mike Mularkey. “I think they are in that locker room. They are in that staff room back there. They’re in the meeting rooms, on the practice fields, during our preparation. I think the answers are all here, and we’ve just got a find a way to get those to transfer over to games so we can play complete games and play like we’re capable of playing.”

Behind second-year QB Blaine Gabbert, they are last in the league in total offense (241.2 yards per game), passing (142.8 ypg) and scoring (13.0 ppg). They’re also tied for the fewest rushing touchdowns in the NFL with one.

The story isn’t much better on the defensive side as Jacksonville is allowing 27.6 points per game – 25th in the league – and has a NFL-low three sacks, something it’ll hope the possible return of linebacker Daryl Smith (groin) can rectify.

“It’s been the same thing for five years,” running back Maurice Jones-Drew said. “Obviously, we’re not working hard enough. I don’t know. We’re just not playing well right now. We have to figure something out. No one here is going to save us.”

Gabbert has completed just eight passes that have gone at least 20 yards, and his wideouts haven’t helped. Jacksonville’s receivers have dropped 12.8 percent of catchable passes, the worst rate in the league.

Oakland’s defense is the NFL’s worst on third down, getting off the field just 50.7 percent of the time, but at 31.3 percent offensively in third-down situations, Jacksonville is sixth-worst.

Slowing down Jones-Drew could be a challenge – his 4.9 yards per carry is the second-best rate of his career – but the Raiders’ run defense met the test last week, limiting the Falcons to 45 yards on 15 carries.

Jones-Drew ran for 101 yards and a TD the last time these teams met, a 38-31 Jaguars home win Dec. 12, 2010, that was their fourth straight in the series since 1997.

Oakland at home seems the better play here, and with the Jags awful offense, look for the Raiders D to have a solid day, and top the Jags with McFadden having over 100 yards and two TD’s.

Oakland 28 Jacksonville 14

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