With their 26-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs (3-2), the Oakland Raiders (4-2) are barely hanging onto their lead in the AFC West heading into their Week 7 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3).
In what should be a bounce-back game for Oakland’s offense, here’s a preview of how the Raiders will respond against the Jaguars on EverBank Field on Sunday.
Cooper and Crabtree to Jumpstart Carr on the Road
After crashing into the outside walls in front of his home crowd against Kansas City, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr will look to his two star receivers to put Oakland’s offense back on track in Jacksonville.
Raiders sophomore receiver Amari Cooper appears to be hitting his stride six weeks into the season, putting on a show in his most recent performance against Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters with 10 receptions for 129 yards.
Having seen the end zone just once this season, Cooper’s impact has sometimes been discredited because of his lack of touchdowns. However, the former Alabama product has thrived in critical downs outside of the red zone, tying with Dallas Cowboys receiver Cole Beasley and Houston Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins for the most first down receptions on third down with 10, according to The Washington Post.
Veteran receiver Michael Crabtree, on the other hand, has positively impact the Raiders’ offense in the red zone, bringing in a team-high five touchdowns this season.
Crabtree was unable to add to his touchdown total against Kansas City, but his touchdown numbers could spike against the Jaguars’ secondary.
Former New York Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara and veteran Davon House should both see snaps against Crabtree on Sunday, two matchups in which Crabtree will have the edge.
Still battling a hamstring injury, Amukamara could struggle to keep up with Crabtree’s physicality, and House has yet to put together a strong performance this season, grading out as the 111th of 113 corners on 221 defensive snaps, per ProFootballFocus.com.
Jaguars rookie cornerback Jalen Ramsey, a standout player for the Jaguars’ defense thus far, will have his hands full lining up against Cooper.
Ramsey’s physical, confident play could affect his performance early, but Cooper will get the best of Ramsey if they ask him to play man coverage for a majority of the contest. Cooper’s smooth route-running ability should push Ramsey off his high horse.