Oakland Raiders-Jacksonville Jaguars preview: Raiders hit the road for Jacksonville

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
Sports Radio Service Writer

AP file photo: Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr looks for some help out there in last Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs

OAKLAND, Calif — Looking to get back to winning football, the Raiders begin a two-game trip through the Sunshine State with a stop in Jacksonville Sunday to take on the Jaguars at EverBank Field in Week 7 action.

It’s the Raiders second game against the AFC South this season. Oakland derailed the Tennessee Titans 17-10 in Nashville in Week 3.

Kickoff is set for 10:00 a.m. PT in Oakland, 1:00 p.m. ET.

Oakland (4-2) were tripped up by Kansas City 26-10 last Sunday in a rainy, muddy game at the Oakland Coliseum that dropped the Raiders to 1-2 at home on the season. It was the first time this season that these two AFC West rivals faced each other.

Quarterback Derek Carr threw for 225 yards on 22-of-34 passing with one touchdown and one interception for Oakland, who were held scoreless in the second half.

Carr has thrown for 1,608 yards, 12 touchdowns, and just three interceptions in six games for Oakland this year.

Wide receiver Amari Cooper finished with a career-high 10 catches for 129 yards.

Cooper led all Raiders wide receivers with 14 targets, while fellow wide receiver Andre Holmes hauled in his second touchdown catch of the season on the Raiders’ opening drive of the game.

Oakland’s running game was powered by rookie DeAndre Washington, who led the Raiders with 49 yards rushing. The Raiders played without starter Latavius Murray, who missed his second straight game with a toe injury.

On defense, the Raiders allowed 406 total yards to the Chiefs Sunday. Oakland’s defense ranks 32nd in the NFL, allowing 444.8 yards per game after giving up 500+ yards in the team’s first two games of the season.

Rookie safety Karl Joseph led Oakland with 11 tackles (seven solo) and defensive end Khalil Mack registered his second sack of the season, sacking Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith in the first quarter that forced a punt.

Jacksonville (2-3) scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to take down the Chicago Bears 17-16 at Soldier Field last week.

Quarterback Blake Bortles, who was drafted in the same class as Carr in 2014 out of Central Florida, completed 20-of-33 passes for 271 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Bortles, who threw a career-high 4,428 yards, 35 touchdowns, and 18 interceptions in 2015, has thrown for 1,321 yards, eight touchdowns, and seven interceptions this season.

Oakland’s much maligned secondary could have their hands full with Jacksonville’s wide receivers, most notably Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns.

After exploding in 2015 with 90 catches for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns (all team-highs), Robinson is second on Jacksonville with 287 receiving yards and leads the team with three touchdowns on 24 catches.

Hurns, who is first on the team with 300 receiving yards, has just one touchdown through five games for Jacksonville after hauling in 64 catches for 1,031 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2015.

Jacksonville has a very aggressive defense led by linebackers Paul Posluszny and Telvin Smith. The duo have combined for 86 tackles this season, which are second in the league behind Buffalo linebacker duo of Zach Brown and Preston Brown’s (no relation) 121 tackles.

Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue leads all rookies with four sacks this season and will be a test for Oakland’s stout offensive line.

Following Sunday’s game, the Raiders will stay in Florida in preparation for their Week 8 meeting at Tampa against the Buccaneers, before returning home for their big showdown with the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football in Week 9 before their bye week.