Jaguars’ Outside Receivers Will Test Raiders’ Boundary Corners
Inconsistent play on the outside has cost the Raiders significantly, as top corners Sean Smith and David Amerson have often raised fans out of their seats with excitement just to cast them back down in disappointment on the following play.
Amerson, PFF’s sixth-ranked cornerback through six weeks of play, will face an uphill battle in terms of limiting Jacksonville’s top receiver Allen Robinson.
The former Penn State product hasn’t taken the expected leap in his third NFL season after bringing in 80 receptions for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2015, but his still capable of the big play and will threaten opposing defenses in the red zone.
At 6’1”, 205 pounds, Amerson possesses above average size for the cornerback position and has performed well against bigger receivers in the past, but it will take an outstanding effort to cut down an athletic, physical tree like Robinson (6’3”, 218 pounds).
Opposite of Amerson, Smith has slowly clawed his way back into the limelight after an abysmal start to his Silver and Black career, accumulating two interceptions and five pass deflections since being benched in Week 1 against the New Orleans Saints.
Smith’s position in the hearts of Raiders fans will be put back to the test regardless of which Jaguars receiver lines up opposite of Robinson.
Jacksonville’s Allen Hurns was held out of practice on Thursday after seeing limited action in Wednesday’s practice because of a shoulder injury, so if he is unable to suit up on Sunday, third-year wide receiver Marqise Lee will get the nod on the outside.
Though Hurns would be the tougher matchup, Lee’s elite quickness and burst could throw Smith through a similar loop that he fell through against Saints receiver Brandin Cooks.
Prediction: Oakland Raiders 30; Jacksonville Jaguars 28