April 23, 2017

An Ugly Day In The Sunshine State

The Oakland Raiders hit the road again for week seven.  This time, they had to go across the country to Jacksonville, Florida to face the Jaguars.  The Raiders were coming off a 26-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs and the Jaguars were coming off a 17-16 win over the Chicago Bears.  The Jaguars won the coin flip and deferred to the second half.  Kicker Jason Myers kicked the game off and it sailed through the end zone.  Neither team did anything worth mentioning on their first possessions.  With 12:21 to go in the first quarter, the Raiders got the ball back at their 30-yard line.  Quarterback Derek Carr got the drive off to a good start with a 13-yard pass to tight end Mychal Rivera.  On third and seven from the 46, Carr connected with wide receiver Michael Crabtree for a gain of 11 yards and a first down at the Jacksonville 43.  A 26-yard pass to wide receiver Seth Roberts put the Raiders in the red zone.  But the drive would stall at the seven because tight end Clive Walford couldn’t hold onto a pass on third down.  Kicker Sebastian Janikowski came on for a 25-yard field goal.  It was good and the Raiders led 3-0 with 9:06 to go in the first quarter.

A good kickoff return by wide receiver Marqise Lee set the Jaguars up at their 33-yard line.  A couple of carries from running back Chris Ivory and a holding call on the Raiders got the ball moving in the right direction for the Jaguars.  On third and three from the 46, Quarterback Blake Bortles scrambled for a gain of 17 and a first down at the Oakland 37.  Cornerback D.J. Hayden was also flagged for holding and the zebras tacked five more yards onto the play.  From the 32, Bortles got loose again.  This time it was for a gain of 11 yards.  Two plays later, Bortles looked for Lee in the corner of the end zone and the pass was picked off by cornerback David Amerson.

The Raiders moved from their 20 to the 47 but ended up punting again.  Return man Rashad Greene decided to get a running start before fielding the punt and it hit him in the hands.  I guess that’s a bad spot to hit him because he fumbled and wide receiver Andre Holmes of the Raiders came out of the pile with the ball.  This gave the Raiders excellent field position and a great chance to increase their lead.  But three plays gained only three yards as Carr overthrew Roberts in the end zone on third down.  Janikowksi trotted onto the field and his 32-yard field goal attempt was good.  The Raiders now led 6-0 with 14:46 to go in the second quarter.

The Jaguars started at their 25 and Bortles looked for wide receiver Allen Robinson on first down.  The pass was incomplete, but Amerson was flagged for pass interference.  That moved the Jaguars to the 50.  From there, Ivory got loose up the right side and was pushed out of bounds at the Oakland eight-yard line.  But they still couldn’t find the end zone and Myers came on for a 23-yard field goal attempt.  It was good and the Raiders led 6-3 with 12:38 to go in the second quarter.

Another deep kickoff meant the Raiders would be starting at their 25 again.  Wide receiver Johnny Holton got things off to a great start with an end around that was good for 29 yards.  After just one play, the Raiders were already in Jacksonville territory.  The ground game started working and running backs Latavius Murray and DeAndre Washington kept the ball moving.  On first down from the 18, Murray got another carry and gained six yards.  Two plays later, Carr found Crabtree for a gain of five and a first down at the five-yard line.  Two plays later, Murray found the end zone.  Janikowski made the point after and the Raiders led 13-3 with 5:32 to go in the second quarter.

For their next drive, the Jaguars broke out their no huddle offense.  Bortles completed passes to Lee, tight end Julius Thomas and running back T.J. Yeldon.  All those completions put the Jaguars at the Oakland 15-yard line.  But a holding penalty and some good play by the Raider defense forced the Jaguars to settle for another field goal attempt.  Myers easily made his 37-yard attempt and the Raiders led 13-6 with 1:49 to go in the second quarter.

Just like the Jaguars, the Raiders broke out the no huddle offense.  Passes to Crabtree, Walford  and Murray gained some decent yardage.  On third and five from the 42, Carr went deep for Crabtree and he made a spectacular diving catch at the Jacksonville two-yard line.  Two plays later, Carr threw for Crabtree in the end zone and he hauled it in for a touchdown.  Crabtree was flagged after the play for unsportsmanlike conduct as it appeared that he did a throat slash.  Yeah.  Whatever.  Janikowski made the point after and the Raiders led 20-6 at halftime.

Lee returned the kickoff to the 35 and the Jaguars took to the air.  Passes to wide receiver Allen Hurns and Lee had the Jaguars at the Oakland 32-yard line.  But the Raider defense once again kept the Jaguars out of the end zone and the Jaguars had to settle for a 44-yard field goal attempt.  The kick was good and the Raiders led 20-9 with 12:11 to go in the third quarter.

Now, we are heading into familiar territory for the Raider offense.  Last week, I couldn’t write much about their offense because they didn’t do much.  The same could be said for this game.  There was a lot of punting going on for both teams until the 4:45 mark of the third quarter.  That’s when the Raiders got the ball back at the Jacksonville 37.  An offside penalty on the Jaguars moved the ball to the 32.  This “drive” would abruptly end at the 25 yard line.  That’s because Carr completed a five-yard pass to Holmes on third and 14.  You need 14 yards and you throw a short pass?  I sincerely don’t get that.  At least throw the ball to the first down marker.  Anyway, Janikowski was brought into the game again and his 43-yard field goal attempt was good.  With 2:28 to go in the third quarter, the Raiders led 23-9.

The Jaguars were forced to punt on their next possession.  Return man Jalen Richard had a really nice return but it was brought back because of holding.  That put the Raiders back at their 28-yard line.  On second down, Carr looked for Roberts and the pass was complete for a gain of ten.  There were more yellow flags on the ground.  Defensive tackle Malik Jackson was flagged 15 yards for roughing the passer.  After that, he had some unkind words for the zebras.  That got him 15 more yards.  I really enjoyed seeing the Raiders gain 30 yards without running a play.  But they still couldn’t get the ball moving and they had to settle for yet another field goal attempt.  The 52-yard attempt by Janikowski was good and the Raiders increased their lead to 26-9.  After that play, Jackson was at it again and he was flagged 15 more yards for unsportsmanlike conduct.  That got him ejected.  Jackson was one angry man.  When he was in Denver, he was a big part of a very good championship defense.  But he left the Broncos because the Jaguars threw a large sum of money at him.  Now he plays on a bad team with bad uniforms.  It just goes to show you that money can’t buy you happiness.  Some of that money will probably be sent to the league office this week as getting three personal fouls in one game will definitely get him fined.

As this game wore on, things got more and more chippy between the teams.  It seemed like there was a flag after every play and head zebra Jeff Triplette and his crew were having a very difficult time keeping things under control.  Triplette may want to look into retirement soon.  He was constantly getting numbers mixed up on his penalty announcements and looked to be out of breath.  With 7:15 to go in the game, the Jaguars put together a good 11 play, 83-yard drive that was capped off with a nine-yard touchdown pass to Thomas.  Linebacker Malcolm Smith looked like he had an interception, but Thomas wrestled the ball away for him.  Myers made the point after and the Raiders led 26-16 with 4:12 remaining.

The Jaguars tried an onside kick and it went out of bounds.  That gave the Raiders the ball at the Jacksonville 48.  Two carries by Murray gained minimal yardage.  Then the flags started flying again.  A false start penalty moved them back five yards.  Then left tackle Donald Penn was flagged for a personal foul penalty.  The Raiders set up to punt again.  Marquette King had trouble with a bad snap.  He regained control of the ball and ran up the right sideline for a gain of 27 yards and a first down at the Jacksonville 35-yard line.  After that, more flags were thrown.  This time, Johnny Holton of the Raiders and Jalen Ramsey of the Jaguars were ejected for fighting

Two carries by Murray and an 18-yard pass to wide receiver Amari Cooper put the Raiders at the nine-yard line.  From there, Murray capped the drive off with a nine-yard touchdown run.  That was the nail in the coffin.  Janikowksi made the point after and the Raiders would leave Jacksonville with a 33-16 win.  That win improved them to 5-2 and the Jaguars fell to 2-4.  The Raiders also improved their record on the road to 4-0.

For the Raiders, Derek Carr completed 23 of 37 for 200 yards and one touchdown.  Michael Crabtree led the team in receptions with eight and receiving yards with 96 and a touchdown.  90 of those yards came in the first half.  On the ground, Latavius Murray led the team in rushing with 59 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns.  All totaled, the Raiders rushed for 144 yards on 34 carries.  The longest rush was 27 yards and that was by punter Marquette King.  The punter had the longest run for his team.  You are reading that correctly.  Defensively, linebacker Malcolm Smith led the team in solo tackles with six.  Khalil Mack also had a good game with a sack and two tackles for a loss.

For the Jaguars, Blake Bortles completed 23 of 43 for 246 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.  Marqise Lee led the team in receptions with seven and receiving yards with 107.  Chris Ivory was the leading rusher with 48 yards on five carries.  42 of those yards were gained on one carry.  As a team, the Jaguars rushed for 105 yards on 16 carries.  Defensively, safety Johnathan Cyprien led the team in solo tackles with 11.

This game was as ugly as it gets.  The flags were flying, tempers were flaring and Jaguar fans were heading for the exits in the third quarter.  The Raiders were flagged 11 times for 117 yards and the Jaguars were flagged 13 times for 112 yards.  But all I wanted to see was the Raiders get a win.  That’s precisely what they did.  Up next for the Raiders is another road game at Tampa Bay.  The Buccaneers easily defeated the 49ers last week and they’ll be looking to get a win against the Raiders.  Until then, take it easy.

The Raider Guy

 

 

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