Week 7 of the JBB Mailbag, answering questions from Twitter about the Oakland Raiders win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, as well as questions about the upcoming matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Well let’s get right to it.
Note: Some of the questions were duplicates or similar to other questions that had already been asked. If you don’t see your question specifically responded to, that is likely the reason why.
Tampa Bay is coming off consecutive road victories, but I believe many people still don’t know what to make of this Buccaneers group. They’re one of the only two teams to beat Atlanta thus far, and their road win over Carolina came against a Panthers team that was without Cam Newton.
Yet, as it pertains to this Sunday’s matchup versus Oakland, Tampa Bay is winless (0-2) at home this season. And I think this game will be the one where we find out — based on the outcome — how pretend, or contend, the Buccaneers really are this season — and honestly, the same can be said for the Raiders.
If Oakland wants to head back west with a 6-2 record, neutralizing Buccaneers linebacker Kwon Alexander will be a critical necessity, in establishing an effective rushing attack, to take pressure off of Derek Carr. That will be an essential key to victory.
I would argue that if there is an element of this 2016 team that is more excructiating than the defensive woes, it has been the failure to consistently incorporate the tight ends into our offense.
Against Jacksonville, Clive Walford and Mychal Rivera combined for 18 receiving yards, on only 2 receptions. For this offense to make that next leap, in addition to establishing an effective run game, productive tight end play in the passing attack will be vital.
Both Coop and Crab are off to impressive starts this season, and their numbers can only improve with the presence of a solid third option to complement them.
KJ has accounted for 36 total tackles over the last five weeks, and I believe he will have a chance to load and spread his stat line against this Tampa Bay offense.
With that being said, I’m usually the first in line to bark that stats don’t tell the whole story. Where I will look for KJ to have an impact on this game, and disrupt the rhythm of Tampa Bay’s offense, is in his play that won’t necessarily translate over to the stat sheet.
Dean Blandino, NFL Vice President of Officiating. Contact him — PLEASE.
More than anything, I think the defensive line’s ability to disrupt Blake Bortles had a deciding affect on the game, and its outcome. I know our fanbase, myself included, can sometimes tend to overlook the work of our defensive line, if those numbers don’t show up in the sack column, but that doesn’t tell the story.
The defensive line had five hits on Bortles, two coming from Bruce Irvin, who I thought had a productive day rushing the quarterback. The front’s aggressive day allowed our secondary to be successful, limiting Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson to less than 60 receiving yards combined.
The only thing that matters about the best punter in football, today, is that it’s his birthday. And all of Raider Nation needs to tweet him a happy silver and black one!