Anemic Jaguars Need to Get Something Going Against Raiders
Alan Penny 2013-09-13 in NFL Picks
The Jacksonville Jaguars barely showed up for their opener against the Kansas City Chiefs, and it was ugly. Now they have to take a trip to the west coast as they face off against the Oakland Raiders, in NFL action that is set to kick off at 4:25 PM ET on Sunday at the O.co Coliseum in Oakland.
In the pro football pointspread lines that have been posted on this game by the people at BetVictor, the Raiders are indeed the favorites at home:
Oakland Raiders -5.5
Jacksonville Jaguars +5.5
Over 39.5 Points -110
Under 39.5 Points -110
You could say that at least the Raiders came away form their game last Sunday with something to be encouraged about, since they think they may have found a quarterback who can make some plays happen. Terrelle Pryor, the former legendary high school athlete who was inserted into the lineup in lieu of Matt Flynn, threw a couple of interceptions, but he also rushed for 112 yards, which is kind of unusual for an Oakland quarterback, and he gave his teammates a lot of confidence that he could create something out of nothing. Of course, Pryor, despite 217 passing yards, has a long way to go before he can be considered to have a viable NFL passing arm.
Still, the Jaguars (-110 to score less than 17 points this week at BetVictor) would probably take that level of production right now, based on their non-effort, at home mind you, against the Kansas City Chiefs, where they sputtered their way to gaining almost no yards before gaining over 80 on their final drive, which took place after the outcome was no longer in doubt. The 28-2 defeat was yet the latest embarrassing episode in the downslide of the team, which could be on its way to London before long; well, permanently (they play there on October 27 against San Francisco).
Blaine Gabbert had a fracture of the thumb on his throwing hand, and so he was hampered form the start, and completed just 16 of 35 passes, with two interceptions and six sacks. He had to leave the game with a big gash on the back of that throwing hand and will be out of this game. Injuries aside, there are going to be lingering questions about whether Gabbert can really make it in the NFL, and the Jags are perhaps fortunate that they may have one of the more capable backups in the league.
Not that Chad Henne is anything to write home about. A second-round draft choice, he squandered an opportunity to seize the starting job in Miami. “My job is to play as well as I can and hopefully just keep the job” he said. “That’s how I’m going to play it.” His intention this time around is to keep Gabbert on the bench, even after the injury has healed.
It’s a pretty sure bet that after this game, the Jags’ offensive performance will have improved. Can you be much worse than having gained just 2.5 yards per play? no, you can’t, and that is why some Jacksonville backers might be somewhat optimistic. Henne did spark the offense a little when he stepped in for Gabbert after an injury last season. It died down, but the staff thought that he should be given every chance to win the job.
And one benefit to having Henne in there is that he has taken a lot of snaps during training camp with the first unit, because he was battling for the starting job. Last year Henne came in for Gabbert during a game against Oakland, and went nine for 20. It ended in overtime with a 26-23 Oakland win. This year, the Raiders have quite a different look, with nine new starters on defense. And the offense has a new look because of Terrelle Pryor, who the Jaguars might have to chase all over the field.