Jaguars vs. Raiders: A Preview of Two Desperate Teams

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Jaguars vs. Raiders: A Preview of Two Desperate Teams
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The more this happens, the better.

Are the Jacksonville Jaguars the worst team in the NFL?

Not if the Oakland Raiders have anything to say about it, they're not.

Two of the four remaining one-win teams square off in Oakland in Week 7.

Here's everything you need to know about the game.

 

What it Means

The AFC is so jumbled up that the winner of this game will be able to stave off a mob of angry fans by claiming they are back in the playoff hunt, at least for one more week.

The loser will be arguably the worst team in the NFL and have the inside track on the top overall pick.

The Jaguars face Green Bay, Detroit and Houston over the next four weeks following this game, so a loss to Oakland and the best they could hope for would be a 2-8 start.

 

Matchup to Watch

There isn't one.

The problem with these two teams is that neither one has players dynamic enough to focus on.

Sure, it would be possible to come up with something (Maurice Jones-Drew vs. Phillip Wheeler), but for the most part, these rosters are devoid of difference-makers.

The Raiders have no one with three touchdowns or sacks.

The Jaguars have only two players with two touchdowns and no one with two sacks.

No one on either team has more than one pick.

Neither team has a wideout with 25 catches or 300 yards receiving.

The lack of dynamic players is why these teams are a combined 2-8.

There aren't enough highlights between these two squads to fill a Youtube video. Watch this instead.

 

Stat that Matters

9.3 percent.

Blaine Gabbert's sack rate has dropped from the embarrassing 8.8 percent he suffered in 2011, and now he's averaging just 4.3 yards per dropback.

If there is any consolation for the Jaguars, it's that they are playing the second-worst pass rush in the NFL this week.

Oakland ranks 31st in adjusted sack rate by the defense, ahead of only one squad.

The Jacksonville Jaguars.

 

Biggest Advantage for the Jaguars

The only advantage the Jaguars have week to week is the play of Maurice Jones-Drew, which continues to be outstanding.

The Raiders have a mediocre run defense, which could enable the Jags to grind clock and move the ball on the ground.

Outside of their best player, perhaps the only thing the Jaguars have going for them is that the bye week has given them extra time to prepare for Oakland.

 

Biggest Advantage for the Raiders

The Raiders have a huge advantage at quarterback. Carson Palmer is no great shakes, but he's competent.

The Raiders have had some games with nice offensive drives, and you can imagine Palmer getting hot and hitting some passes.

In most every other category, Oakland is below average at best, but if the team around him was better, the Raiders would be able to win with Palmer.

Winning and losing for the Raiders is up to more than just Palmer, but he took the blame.

 

Best Video Only Tangentially Related to the Game

Yeah, this is about right.

 

Jacksonville Will Win If...

If the Jags can play a whole game defensively as well as they played the Bears in the first half two weeks ago, they'll be in the game all day.

At that point, all they'll need to snake out a win will be for Gabbert to make a play or two the way he did against the Vikings or Colts.

 

Oakland Will Win If...

If Palmer has a big day, the Jaguars will be hard-pressed to keep pace. Palmer hasn't been the problem in Oakland this year, and has played well in spurts.

He should have plenty of time to throw against a bad Jacksonville pass rush, so if he can pick apart the secondary and force the Jaguars into a pass-for-pass game, the Raiders will walk away winners.

 

Outlook

As bad as the Jaguars have been at home, they've been respectable on their two road trips to Indianapolis and Minnesota.

Still, even with a bye week in their pocket, there's just no reason to expect them to travel cross-country and play well.

Until they prove they can play consistent football, there's no way to favor them in any contest—even against a team like Oakland.

Raiders 16 Jaguars 10

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