The Jaguars will face the Raiders in the home game for Oakland in the state of California on Sunday afternoon.
The sand in the hourglass is quickly running out for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
After a 4-4 start to the 2019 season, the bottom has fallen out with five straight losses, a lack of offensive continuity and a defense that cannot stop the run. It’s been a season the fans want to forget. Still, there are three games left to be played, with a trip to Oakland next on the Jaguars agenda.
Playing in the “Black Hole” in the final game for the city of Oakland could present some challenges for Jacksonville from the fanbase that has been known to be rowdy and unruly over the years. Head coach Doug Marrone spoke to the players and coaches on Wednesday ahead of meeting with the media and team practice about what playing in Oakland for the final home game in their team history means.
"“I know what it can be like (the atmosphere in Oakland). I don’t know, but I talked to the players,” Marrone said. “It can be a bunch of different ways, but it’ll be a crazy atmosphere. I can’t define crazy for you, but it’ll be a crazy atmosphere.”"
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Also, on Wednesday, the Jaguars once again made changes to their linebacking unit, which could have an effect on the game as well.
"Per the team’s public relations department, the “Jaguars have claimed sixth-year LB Preston Brown off waivers from Oakland, the club announced today. To make room on the roster, the Jaguars placed rookie LB Quincy Williams (hand) on the reserve/injured list.”"
There is still a chance to make an impact this season as the Raiders are still fighting for a playoff berth. At 6-7, the odds are long, but Oakland has not been eliminated from the postseason, yet. And the Jaguars face another quarterback who could present an issue for the defense this week in Derek Carr.
"“He’s got a good touchdown to interception rate,” Marrone added. “Obviously, he has a high completion percentage, 70 or 71 percent. He’s doing a good job. He’s got some good weapons. The running back we’re assuming he’s going to play. That tight end position and wide receiver position, they have skill there.“They do a good job schematically in different formations, different personnel groups, so I think Derek Carr’s a heck of a football player.”"
The one thing that has been a constant topic of conversation during the team’s five-game losing streak where the defense has surrendered 174 points in that timeframe is the lack of confidence on the playing field. Marrone addressed this as well, saying he and the coaching staff are still working to get the best effort from the players on the roster.
"“I just addressed it to them the first time. I also addressed coaching with confidence, too. It goes all the way around, so it’s not just on the players. I’ve always been truthful, and see what I see on film, and believe in what you see and just going,” Marrone said.“Don’t try to overthink or do too much, and that’s what happens when you’re not playing well. And all it takes is just one person to kind of not be where they’re supposed to be in – teams are too good, they’ll expose. So, we’ve talked about that and we have a lot of young guys playing, which is a great opportunity for them to show that they belong in the league.”"
Even as an underdog this week, the Jaguars still have something to play for. Running back Leonard Fournette is eighth in the NFL in rushing and needs just one yard to tie his rookie mark of 1,040 in 2017. Fournette also leads the Jaguars in receptions with 68 for the season.
Josh Allen already has nine sacks this season – a new Jaguars rookie record. He needs 5.5 in the final three games to tie Calais Campbell for the team record of 14.5. While he may not reach that total, one more sack gives him 10 for the season.
Wide receiver DJ Chark has 956 yards in pass receptions. The second-year player out of LSU is on the team’s injury list and may not play on Sunday. If he does, he is 44 yards away from 1,000 for the season.
"“He wants to finish the season strong which is awesome. And you guys know him, he’s an outstanding individual. We have some good news going, we have him in a boot to make sure he’s protected,” Marrone said.“The swelling’s down, so I think we’re going to take that all the way up [to the game]. We’re going to take him out there with us, see how he goes. And I think as long as it doesn’t put anyone in jeopardy of reinjuring, or it can be worse, or anything of that nature, then I think you’ll see he’ll be on the field.”"
Marrone said the team would leave for Oakland on Friday.