Game Overview ::
By mike johnson >>
- This matchup features two teams likely to be in rough shape this week and whose seasons may be at a breaking point.
- Jacksonville is playing without a week off after a game in London last Sunday.
- Las Vegas is playing its second consecutive game on the East Coast.
- Both offenses are middle of the pack in tempo, pass rate, and efficiency.
How las vegas Will Try To Win ::
The Raiders offense was absolutely embarrassed and exposed in their 24-0 loss last week to the Saints. They managed only 183 total yards of offense on 56 offensive plays, good for 3.3 yards per play. For comparison’s sake, on the season, the Steelers are worst in the NFL with an average of 4.7 yards per play. The Raiders offense had averaged 33 points per game in their prior three games, however, so this performance could have just been a dud (which every NFL team has from time to time), or there could be some other factors that came into play:
- First, the Saints had played on Thursday night in Week 7, giving them three extra days of rest and prep over the Raiders, while the Raiders were traveling across the country from the West coast and playing a game in the early window of Sunday games for only the second time all season.
- Second, the Raiders game planning likely had some hiccups due to personnel issues. Darren Waller had practiced all week but was ruled out on Sunday morning. Also, Davante Adams missed practice on Thursday and Friday last week due to an illness. Those are two integral parts of the Raiders offense. While there’s no way to know for sure what effect those situations had on the team, it certainly doesn’t help if you plan to have a weapon like Waller back on the field and then lose him, and then your top receiving option is not present to get reps and work through the game plan (and potentially still recovering from illness on gameday).
Whatever happened, the Raiders need to correct things quickly if they want to turn around their season as they currently sit with a 2-5 record. This week, they face a Jaguars defense that has been inconsistent. After looking like a stout run defense to start the season, they have softened somewhat of late, most notably allowing the Giants to run for 236 yards against them in Week 7. After abandoning the run early in the game and having a passing attack that looked completely out of sync, we should expect the Raiders to refocus their game plan around PFF’s #2 graded running game. We should also expect Davante Adams to be a centerpiece of the Raiders offensive attack, with a full week of practice and coming off his worst game since Week 3 of 2015. The Raiders had given the ball (through targets or carries) to one of Adams or Jacobs on 33 plays in each of their previous two games, which amounted to 60% of their total offensive plays, prior to giving them only 20 opportunities against the Saints (36% of their offensive plays). It is clear that from a game plan perspective, we should expect heavy doses of Jacobs as a runner and on screen passes and swing passes out of the backfield, as well as designed plays for Adams, who has not received double-digit targets in a game since Week 4.