It wasn’t pretty, but it was never really in doubt.
A Marcel Reece 11 yard rushing touchdown out Oakland up 7-0 in the first quarter and from there the Raiders never looked back as it was painfully clear that the Jacksonville Jaguars are the worst team in football this year. From poor pass protection to undisciplined penalties at inopportune times the Jaguars practically handed Oakland the game on Sunday, but despite the Jaguars ineptitude the Raiders offense couldn’t capitalize.
After Reece’s touchdown it was all field goals for the Raiders, with Sebastian Janikowski going 4-5 for Oakland’s other 12 points. Huge gains from Darren McFadden, who had 129 yards, would put Oakland into the Jaguars half of the field on the majority of the drives yet only 19 points were scored.
Janikowski wasn’t free from errors on the day, missing a chip shot in the first half that gave him two misses from inside 50 to start the season. Either he is struggling with a new holder or he isn’t as healthy, but don’t expect him to struggle for too long.
The Raiders were average in the passing game, Terrelle Pryor completed 15 of 24 passes for 126 yards without a touchdown, but no interceptions and poise in the pocket with much better protection from the offensive line earned rave reviews at times from the CBS announcers calling the game. Pryor rushed for 50 yards on nine carries, but failing to find the end zone against the Jaguars for three full quarters will be a concern heading into Denver next week.
Still despite the fact the score should have been much more lopsided, a win is a win and the Raiders defense was stellar, roughing around Chad Henne with Usama Young getting two sacks on safety blitzes. Oakland noticed they could impose their will with their playbook and they did continuing their trend of getting pressure to the quarterback, something that was not expected heading into the season.
At the end of this day the Raiders did what they expected to do after two weeks, going 1-1 and winning a game that they should win even in a rebuilding season. Sure it wasn’t a blowout and the Terrelle Pryor offensive project didn’t look as explosive as against Indy, but it didn’t need to be. Oakland played like they were expecting to win the game, employing a gameplan based on having the better offensive and defensive lines and wore down the Jaguars. I think everyone would have took that at the start of the season so there should be no complaints out of Raider Nation.
- Charles Woodson had the highlight of the night, jumping over a Jaguars player to take back a Maurice Jones-Drew touchdown with a Superman tackle. MJD left the game with an injury shortly after and was largely ineffective in his return to his Bay Area home.
- Janikowski’s miss from 35 yards ended a streak of 50 straight makes from under 40 yards.
- Oakland’s touchdown to start the game was the first opening possession touchdown for the Raiders since their 2011 regular season finale against the Jaguars.
- Tayvon Branch left with what is assumed to be a serious leg injury in the first half. Dennis Allen confirmed it is expected Branch will miss time, a huge loss for defensive coordinator Jason Tarver in gameplanning for Peyton Manning.