Oakland Raiders vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: A Plan of Attack For Silver and Black
The Oakland Raiders are now in Jacksonville set to play the Jaguars with the playoffs on the line. The Raiders are coming off of a major league upset of the San Diego Chargers but are only 2-2 in their last four games.
The Chargers are 3-1 in that same stretch with two of those wins against team that beat the Raiders this year. Add to that the fact that the Jaguars have won their last four games against the Raiders.
But styles and match ups make football games so there is plenty of reason to believe that the Raiders can win this game.
Turn the page to see why.
Tom Cable's Schedule
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
I have been real hard on Tom Cable for his choices at quarterback and on the offensive line this year. I've even gone as far as writing an article on wanting Jon "Chucky" Gruden back in Raider Nation.
He's not an Xs and Os type of guy but Raider owner Al Davis has his coordinators in place for that.
So what is Cable for?
He is a good motivator and has helped change the culture in Raider Nation but that isn't enough. But the move he just recently made going to Jacksonville has completely won me over.
What did he do?
Cable has the Raiders in meetings at 6:30 in the morning and on the field at 9:45 am. The move will get the Raiders ready for the 10:00 am west coast game time they have on the east coast.
West coast teams are beaten up regularly when they travel east because the bodies of west coast football players just aren't ready to play football at that time.
This brilliant move by Cable will help the Raider's body clocks adjust.
Improved Raider Run Defense Vs Jaguar Run Offense
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
This is not the same run defense the Jacksonville Jaguars have gauged the last four time they've played. The Raider run defense is only ranked No. 23 now but that's eight spots up from No. 31 earlier this year.
The Raiders only gave up 21 yards on the ground last week against the Chargers. This isn't to say that the Raider run defense is dominant but definitely isn't the same one the Jaguars have dominated the last few times they've played.
But the Jaguars do have the leagues second leading rusher in Maurice "Pocket Hurceles" Jones-Drew. However, the Jaguars don't exactly play in a division full of run stuffers
This match up will decide the winner of the game.
Raider Pass Defense Vs Jaguar Pass Offense
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
The Raiders have fallen to No. 9 in pass defense after a couple of games without Nnamdi Asomugha. But with Asomugha back in the fold, the Raider pass defense looks to be back on top of their game.
Add to that the fact that the Raiders are No. 1 in the NFL in sacks so far this season. Another ace in the hole is Michael Huff's ability to play corner when Raider corners opposite Asomugha can't handle it.
Jaguar quarterback David Gerrard has a 92.3 quarterback rating but pretty much manages the game behind "Pocket Hurcules." I can't see him putting the Jaguars on his back and beating the Raiders.
The Jaguars don't exactly have a top notch receiver for Gerrard to do such a thing.
Raider Run Offense Vs Jaguar Run Defense
Rick Stewart/Getty Images
After taking a couple of weeks off, the Raider running game is back in full stride. Last Sunday, the Raiders had over 250 yards rushing in San Diego against the Chargers.
Darren McFadden and Michael Bush were just inches away from rushing for 100 yards a piece. And that was against a Charger team that ranks No. 5 against the run even after the Raider a game like that.
The Jaguars rank No.17 against the run and aren't nowhere near as physical as the teams that did stop the Raider run. The Raider run defense depends a whole lot how the Raider run offense does.
When the Raiders rush for 150 yards or more, they give up an average of only 55 yards per game. When they run for less than 150 yards, the Raiders give up 159 yards per game.
I guess it's safe to say that McFadden and Bush have to stop Jones-Drew.
Raider Pass Offense Vs Jaguar Pass Defense
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
The Seattle Seahawks at No. 30 are the worst pass defense Campbell has faced this year. In that game, Campbell threw for 310 yards, two touchdowns, and a quarterback rating of 120.9.
The Jaguar pass defense isn't much better than that of the Seahawks at No. 27. I don't know how many times the Raiders will throw but I expect Cambpell to be efficient as he was against the Chargers, Broncos, Seahawks, and in the second half of the Chiefs.
The common denamenator amongst these team is neither one stopped the Raider running game. Another factor that favors the Raiders is the return of Chaz Schilens with more practice time with Campbell.
How can your passing attack not improve with the return of your best receiver.
In the kick return department, Deji Kareem is better by a half yard with his average. (24.6-24.1) But I would still take Raider returner Jacoby Ford as he has run two kicks back for touchdowns vs none for Kareem.
Ford is just more likely to make a play.
Ford also has one more return over 40 yards than Kareem with three while he has one less fumble. Neither team is very good at returning punts this year so I'm really not going to go there.
The Raiders are better with field goal kicking and punting with Sebastien Janikowski and Shane Lechler.
Game Plan: Offense
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
The Jaguars aren't the most physical defense in the league so it's time to run again.
That's what they do.
They really shouldn't get away from the same game plan I wrote last week that they followed to perfection. They should still take their shots doen the field with Ford, Schilens, and Louis Murphy then look to hit McFadden and Reece underneath.
I hope Miller is healthy so he can get his targets as well.
I also want to see a deep ball to Reece as the mismatch is just to good to resist.
Even though the Jaguars don't sack the quarterback much, the Raiders should still get Campbell out of the pocket with some designed roll outs just to keep him moving from time to time.
Game Plan: Defense
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Oakland Raider defensive coordinator John Marshall should keep dialing up blitzes as he has lately. Last week, The Raiders blitzed early then started to get there with four as the Charger's spirit was already broken.
It's good to have Chris Johnson back but this week's game plan should have Huff at corner. I still remember when Johnson first came back from his hamstring injury and was torched over and over.
Johnson should be walked back into it as a nickel or dime corner.
Huff is a better corner when Johnson is healthy anyway.
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
I honestly believe that Sunday's match up between the Jaguars and the Raiders favors the Raiders. The formula to beat the Raiders is to be big and physical up front on defense.
That way, you can stuff the run and force third and very long.
Then you pin your ears back and rush the passer.
The Jaguars just aren't that type of team.
But they are physical on offense so that's where they are a threat.
However, the Jaguars don't have the defense to be able to just run the whole time. The Raiders have too many match ups that favor them on offense and I look for Jackson to look for them all.
Don't be surprised if the Raiders win big on Sunday.