The Jacksonville Jaguars are preparing for their week 2 matchup against the Oakland Raiders and that gameplan is going to have to exclude starters Blaine Gabbert and Dwayne Gratz. Gabbert left the opening game against the Chiefs after cutting his hand pretty badly and the 15 stitches required to clean up the wound is going to keep him out the lineup this week.
— The System (@tealtalk) September 9, 2013
Dwayne Gratz appeared to suffer a lower leg injury in week 1 and it turns out he has a fairly significant ankle injury.
Dwayne Gratz is out for 3 weeks with a high ankle sprain. Marcedes and Will Rackley are wait and see this week in practice. #Jaguars
— Sam Kouvaris (@samsportsline) September 9, 2013
The Jaguars struggled mightily against the Chiefs, specifically the offensive line and Gabbert. With Gabbert out, the burden of moving this offense down the field now falls on Chad Henne.
Something to keep an eye on is the usage of running back Maurice Jones-Drew. In week 1, Jones-Drew only carried the ball 15 times and was targeted in the passing game just once. The other three options at running back – Jordan Todman, Denard Robinson, and Justin Forsett – had a combined 4 carries and saw 8 targets in the passing game. No back got a ton of work, but Maurice Jones-Drew should have been used more early in the game. Kansas City built a lead early in the game, but there’s no excuse for Gabbert passing on 69% of the offensive snaps when he was so wildly ineffective.
Dwayne Gratz’s injury is going to thrust a new player into a young secondary, possibly Demetrius McCray or Will Blackmon. The defense didn’t play poorly against the Chiefs, but the lack of a pass rush is still a major concern and will likely be a big problem this week against the Raiders. Terrelle Pryor actually looked decent against the Colts and did a good job buying time with his feet. If the Jaguars don’t get pressure on him, Pryor will have plenty of time to find an open receiver or bail out and scramble for yards.
We’ll take a better look at this matchup as the week goes on, but the Jaguars are limping into what might be the Teddy Bridgewater bowl.
– Daniel Lago
Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89