Jaguars DC faces a tough challenge on Sunday at Oakland
If the Jaguars are going to win on Sunday at Oakland, then the defense needs to find a way to stop the Raiders offense on the road.
The Jaguars know traveling to Oakland to face the Raiders on Sunday is no easy task. Hopefully, in the excitement of this being the last game played at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Jacksonville can muster enough offense and find its run defense to spoil the celebration of decades of football in Oaktown.
The Jaguars come into the game heavy underdogs and for good reason. As defensive coordinator Todd Wash talked about in his weekly meeting with the local media, anytime you play in Oakland, it’s hard to come away with the victory.
"“We’re not used to playing not-good defense,” Wash said. “It’s very frustrating, but we have to find a way to fix it. That’s my job. That’s what I told the players: ‘Hey, everything that happened is on my shoulders. I got big shoulders. I’m good with that.’ But we have to continue to work and strive to get better so we can win a couple of football games.’”"
There are three games left in the 2019 season. A winning streak would be a wonderful New Year’s present, but change must be made in order for that to happen. Wash acknowledged the fact the linebackers on the field are inexperienced and the run defense is struggling. The secondary gets Ronnie Harrison back this week, but even with the second-year starter, there must be tighter coverage on receivers on the outside.
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"As John Oehser of Jaguars.com points out, “The Jaguars, after ranking among the top six defenses in the NFL in fewest yards allowed each of the past three seasons, currently rank 23rd in yards allowed at 373.1 yards per game and 25th in scoring defense at 25.9 points per game.”"
You cannot win consistently in this league with those numbers. It’s one of the reasons for the 4-9 record this season and with the Raiders able to run and pass the ball effectively, there is a chance this could be another whitewash afternoon by the bay.
"“Part of the issue in recent weeks has been matching scheme to personnel, particularly at linebacker as injuries have further hurt a unit that has been inconsistent much of the season,” John Oehser wrote.“Head Coach Doug Marrone touched on this issue on Wednesday, saying the Jaguars would ‘have to take a good look at what we can handle and not handle, and take it out and live with what we’re going to play with schematically in the game’.”"
The team will once again count on Donald Payne to step up in the middle. Payne has made two consecutive starts in place of Myles Jack and played effectively. The defense will also count on second-year player Leon Jacobs to have an inspiring day on the field.
"“The guys who are playing for us, we trust them,” Wash said. “Hopefully, the plan works out where they have some success on Sunday.”"