After showing the entire league how to not play offense in the NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars travel to Oakland this week. The Raiders pushed the Indianapolis Colts to the brink in week 1 and starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor surprisingly played pretty well. To prepare for this battle of the Titans, we went to Just Blog Baby to ask our Fansided breh Shane Schilperoort about the upcoming matchup.
1. Terrelle Pryor looked pretty good in week 1 and almost pulled out a win against the Colts. What kind of gameplan should the Jaguars use to limit his production?
A game plan is a funny animal. A team can plan to contain one guy, or even two or three, but containing four or more players is not possible. Somebody will get open, or a hole in the line will be left open to run through. The Jaguars are going to have to assign a defensive back, safety, or linebacker, who has speed, to mirror Pryor. Once Pryor commits to a play, then and only then can the defender break from his assignment. I don’t envy Jaguars Defensive Coordinator Bob Babich’s job this week, not one bit.
2. Which “under-the-radar” player is going to have the biggest impact against the Jaguars this week?
I actually believe that there will be two players that will have a big game, and both are under the radar. First, WR-Brice Butler will be playing slot receiver, and he will have his opportunities to find some open space, and TE-Jeron Mastrud will also have his opportunity to make big receiving plays. This will occur due to the fact that the Jaguars will have a plan in place to attempt to stop WR-Rod Streater, WR-Denarius Moore, RB-Darren McFadden, and QB-Terrelle Pryor. However, make no mistake, there will be breakdowns in the defense, and it will be incumbent upon Pryor to take advantage of those opportunities.
3. Which rookie has stood out the most in the preseason and week 1?
That’s a tough one. First of all, the only rookie that actually had some legitimate playing time in Week 1 was D.J. Hayden. Once it was apparent that Indianapolis was going after DB-Tracy Porter (with success), Porter was moved to the Nickel position, and Hayden was placed on the right side of the defense. Once that happened, the defense slowly began to shut down Andrew Luck late in the second quarter and through the third quarter. So, to me, he was the only real stand-out in Week 1, as far as rookie players go.
In the Pre-Season, LB/DE-Sio Moore stood out the most to me with his ability to rush the passer and stop the run. Unfortunately for him, he suffered a foot injury in the last pre-season game, and he hasn’t recovered completely yet. He practiced fully this week, and he will be making his regular season debut with the first string in Week 2. I’ll look to see if he can stand-out in this game.
4. What are the strongest and weakest positions on the Raiders’ roster?
After Week 1, I have to say that the strongest positions go to the linebackers and tight ends. The linebackers were able to contain running back RB-Vick Ballard to only 68 yards rushing. They made QB-Andrew Luck beat them with his arm and feet. Ultimately it was his feet that won, because he wasn’t able to do it with his arm. Tight ends Jeron Mastrud, Mychal Rivera, and Nick Kasa were able to block well, and they helped both the LT and RT with their men, which avoided a sack all game (the last sack was Pryor’s fault). Furthermore, both Rivera and Mastrud had key first down catches to keep drives going.
The weakest positions were simply the play of DB-Tracy Porter and the offensive lines inability to break RB-Darren McFadden for a long run. The offensive line can improve, but something needs to be done about Porter. He has lost several steps on his coverage ability, and teams will continue to attack his side. Keep Porter out and put Hayden in.
5. What’s your prediction for the game?
You may not like my prediction very much, but it’s going to be a huge win by the Oakland Raiders. Look, the Jaguars are coming into the Raiders house, and the Raiders have found something in QB-Terrelle Pryor. With Pryor at the helm, it is going to greatly improve our chances of winning this year. The Jaguars defense isn’t built to withstand the offensive plays that it will be seeing on Sunday in Oakland, CA.
Furthermore, the defense has found its two hole pluggers/run stoppers in DT-Vance Walker and NT-Pat Sims. Along with the DE’s and LB’s, Maurice Jones-Drew is not going to get the big runs he’s had against Oakland in the past. If MJD does break through the line, he’s going to feel a big collision from SS-Tyvon Branch and FS-Charles Woodson. The days of containment breakdown in Oakland are gone.
The final score will be in the ballpark of 28-6 in the Oakland Raiders favor.
Check out Just Blog Baby for my answers to their questions.
– Daniel Lago
Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89