The Jacksonville Jaguars came away from their week 1 game against the Chiefs with several reasons for concern. Both the offensive and defensive lines were ineffective and the skill position players did nothing to help the situation.
Virtually the entire roster needs to player better in week 2, but some key players need to forget about their week 1 performance and step up against the Raiders.
Guard Will Rackley
The interior offensive line was atrocious in week 1, as evidenced by Dontari Poe’s frequent visits into the Jacksonville backfield, but Will Rackley was by far the most overmatched. Rackley spent all of last year sidelined with an injury so he might still be shaking off the rust, but he was pushed around all game and failed to provide Blaine Gabbert with a clean pocket. He can be seen here getting annihilated by linebacker Mike Catapano (thanks @ECStoner).
Rackley needs to get it together quickly because this week he’s going to have to deal some with Vance Walker – Oakland’s highest rated player by Pro Football Focus (+3.8) after week 1.
Wide Receiver Ace Sanders
The Jaguars need someone to step up during Justin Blackmon’s suspension and it’s probably going to have to be rookie Ace Sanders. Sanders was terrific in camp and in the preseason but his regular season debut wasn’t as electric. He had a drop and often tried to do too much when he caught bubble passes and screens. He had a big catch nullified by a penalty so he’s definitely capable of impacting the game and should open up the offense this week.
Linebacker Paul Posluszny
Poz was actually one of the least disappointing players last week against the Chiefs, but his priorities are going to be very different against the Raiders. Terrelle Pryor is much more of a threat as a runner than a passer – he had 112 yards on 13 rushes against the Colts. Some of his yards came on designed runs, but the more pressing concern is his ability to gain yards on broken plays. Posluszny is going to have to keep his eyes in the backfield when he’s in coverage and try to contain Pryor if the Jaguars are going to have any chance.
In addition to these players, the entire secondary is going to have to step up and take advantage of the mistakes Terrelle Pryor is inevitably going to make. Pryor threw two interceptions last week and plays like Dwayne Gratz’s dropped pick can’t happen again this week.
– Daniel Lago
Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89