Raiders 19, Jaguars 9: Postgame takeaways & observations
Sep 15, 2013 at 8:45p ET
After being the only team to fail to score a touchdown in Week 1, the Jaguars followed that up Sunday at Oakland with an outing which might have represented a larger step backwards. Being forced to go from Blaine Gabbert to Chad Henne at quarterback didn't result in any noticeable improvement for the better part of three quarters, and a sprained left ankle suffered by running back Maurice Jones-Drew caused flashbacks to his season-ending foot injury against the Raiders last October.
Even if the extent of Jones-Drew's absence winds up being limited to the second half of the 19-9 loss, there are problems with the Jaguars which clearly don't appear close to being rectified:
1. Getting stuck in second-and-long and third-and-long situations was an issue a week ago against the Kansas City Chiefs, and it made a world of difference against the Raiders.
When Henne and the Jaguars strung together a 14-play drive in the second quarter, it began with a 17-yard completion to Cecil Shorts III and included an 8-yard gain by Jones-Drew on first down.
That stood in stark contrast to a dreadful third quarter that featured a series beginning with a 9-yard loss on a reverse to wide receiver Stephen Burton followed by a hands-to-the-face call against tackle Eugene Monroe.
That being said, their first touchdown drive of the season appeared headed nowhere until a 30-yard completion on third and 21 from Henne to rookie Ace Sanders.
2. The lack of a consistent pass rush is less of an issue with the Jaguars than an inability to stop the run.
The Raiders gashed them for 226 yards, with Darren McFadden (19 carries, 129 yards) picking up where the Chiefs' Jamaal Charles left off. Many of the holes were ridiculously large to run through, and perhaps none moreso than when ex-Jaguar running back Rashad Jennings set up the last of Sebastian Janikowski's four field goal with a 28-yard pickup.
Except for outside linebacker Geno Hayes and rookie strong safety Johnathan Cyprien, no one on the defense had a game of which they could be proud.
3. Jones-Drew's injury was the latest setback to an offense already without Gabbert (lacerated right hand), wide receiver Justin Blackmon (two games to go on his league-imposed suspension) and tight end Marcedes Lewis (calf).
Shorts, whose emergence last season coincided with Henne replacing an injured Gabbert, had eight catches for 93 yards. But Sanders caught only two passes for five yards going into the drive which was capped by a 13-yard pass to tight end Clay Harbor, who was two weeks removed from being claimed off waivers from the Philadelphia Eagles.
4. Regardless of whether it's Henne or Gabbert at quarterback, no one is going to last very long if teams can tee off on them with blitzes.
The Raiders sacked Henne five times, and defensive end Jason Hunter was able to bat down a pass to force the Jaguars into a thankless third-and-29 situation. Another pratfall for the offensive line came when center Brad Meester's snap to Henne hit Sanders, who was in motion, causing a busted play.
5. If you're keeping track, Bryan Anger has now punted 19 times through two weeks.
And for the second week in a row, there was an early breakdown in punt coverage. Only a textbook tackle by Anger prevented Phillip Adams from staking the Raiders to a quick 7-0 lead. Another lowlight: D.J. Williams lined up in the neutral zone on fourth down, enabling the Raiders' offense to return to the field and resume a drive which led to a field goal.
Next up: at Seattle. Oakland might have the reputation as a difficult place for visiting teams, but it's Seattle where the decibel levels can rattle any offense. Ask the Jaguars, who absorbed a 41-0 beating in 2009 when Gus Bradley was the architect of the Seahawks' defense.
You can follow Ken Hornack on Twitter @HornackFSFla or email him at email@example.com.