By Ryan Leong
If there is any opponent that is beatable for the Oakland Raiders, who are desperate for a win, it’s the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have the same 1-4 record as Oakland.
The Jaguars are one of six NFL teams that have only one win. They are coming off a bye week after getting demolished by the Bears 41-3.
The Jags have been outscored in their three home games 95-20. On the road they have their lone win at Indianapolis and have played much more competitively, outscoring their two opponents 45-43.
Jacksonville will be making its first trip to Oakland since Week 17 of the 2004 season (Jan. 2, 2005). The Jaguars hold a 4-1 series advantage over the Raiders.
Jaguars on offense:
They’re rather offensive when they have the ball. Bottom line, they have the worst offense in the league. They score the fewest points at 13 per game, fewest yards passing at 142.8 per game, and fewest total yards at 241.2 per game. The Jaguars have just one rushing touchdown.
“It’s been the same thing for five years,” Jacksonville 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.”
Either way, the loser will fall to 1-5. Whoever that is will be at the bottom of the NFL and a favorite to get the first overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft.
It’s been rough for Jacksonville second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who has been sacked 15 times in five games. In his last game on October 7 vs. Chicago, it was tough sledding: 17-of-33 for 142 yards passing and two interceptions for a rating of 37.7
Jacksonville’s receivers have caught only eight passes exceeding 20 or more yards. They are also only 31.3 percent on 3rd down conversions, sixth worst in the league.
Jaguars on defense:
They rank 29th in defensive yardage allowed, 30th against the run and 23rd against the pass. That’s a huge dropoff from a year ago when Jacksonville ranked 6th in the league defensively. They have no playmakers and nobody who makes the defense go, either. It’s basically chaos out there on the field, with layers missing their assignments and not stepping up and executing. That could bode well for the Raiders, who are ranked 29th in rushing.
Players to watch for:
One player in particular to watch is running back Maurice Jones Drew. He has 408 yards rushing, but that’s misleading considering 177 of those came in the game at Indianapolis where he scored the team’s lone rushing TD.
Veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis averages 8.3 yards per catch. So far in five games he has 14 catches for 116 yards and two touchdowns.
Cecil Shorts is the main threat at wide receiver along with Justin Blackmon. But given that the Jags are having their worst offensive season since their inaugural year in 1995, neither is posting great numbers.
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Ryan Leong has reported on over 2,800 games in the Bay Area since 1998, covering the Sharks, Giants, A’s, Warriors, 49ers, Raiders and the local college teams for radio networks and wire services. Having the best seat in the house to watch sports has been a thrill and Ryan still enjoys going to the games giving fans some insight and perspective on the players and coaches. His work can be found on Examiner.com.