To answer the question easily, if they lose then it’s pretty obvious that they brought their traditional game west with them. That said, let’s take a look at recent history to see if the Jags have a shot when traveling west to beat the Raiders this week.
The Jags don’t have to travel west very often, but traditionally it has been difficult for East Coast teams to go west and play the like of the Raiders, Chargers, 49ers, Seahawks, Cardinals, and Broncos in their respective homes. With such a major concentration of teams east of the Mississippi some teams simply don’t want to make the trip, find coordinating practice to be difficult, and struggle to get ready for the travel.
The last time the Jags played the AFC West in a season was in 2010. The Jags went 2-2 in those games. Both wins came at home against the Broncos and Raiders. The team lost by a combined 33-80 at San Diego (13-38) and Kansas City (20-42). The wins against the Raiders and Broncos resulted in a combined 62-48. Both games were decided by exactly seven points.
Does the past history of this franchise against western opponents matter to a team with a new quarterback, new head coach, and more entrenched GM? Maybe not. The Raiders have a new quarterback from the last time the Jaguars faced them. The Raiders have a new coach and general manager. Everything is different.
But if the Jags continue their trend of not scoring points (as seemed to be apparent out west in 2010 too) then this could get messy fast. I highly doubt the Jags put up 24+ points on Sunday. I’d love it if they did though. Besides, they may play better on the road – especially after seeing the crap they produce for home games.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims