Things Are Falling Into Place for Jags
After crushing the Tennessee Titans with their running game last Sunday while rushing for 258 yards, the Jaguars now play host to an Oakland team that ranks in the bottom third in rush defense.
And the Raiders have to fly cross country to play a 1 p.m. game on the East Coast, which will be 10 a.m. PT.
The Jaguars follow the Oakland game by going to Indianapolis and then come home to face Washington, two more defenses in the bottom third in the NFL against the run.
If the Jaguars can keep pounding the way they did against the Titans, they could win the division title.
They currently have a one game lead at 7-5 over the 6-6 Colts.
The Jaguars, who were 1-8 in December the last two years, play the Colts in two weeks, but they're not overlooking the Raiders.
Of the Raiders, coach Jack Del Rio said, "That's my childhood team. I actually remain a Raiders fan. Obviously, I'm a Jaguars coach, first and foremost a Jaguar. I have always been a fan of the Raiders and the silver and black. We will be ready to play that game. That's the next one and the biggest one."
Maurice Jones-Drew accounted for 186 of the Jaguars' 258 yards against the Titans in their 17-10 victory. It was a career high for Jones-Drew and the second-best rushing day in the NFL this year. Rashad Jennings added 44 yards in 10 carries, Garrard got 19 in 10 carries and a touchdown and Zach Miller added nine yards in two carries.
The Jaguars, who had 206 rushing yards last week in the loss to the Giants, managed back-to-back 200-yard rushing games for the third time in team history. It was also their 200-yard rushing game of the season. They had 216 at Buffalo.
Del Rio had been challenging Jones-Drew to rush for 150 yards.
"That challenge doesn't stop now that he has reached it. He responded well to the challenge. We started talking about that five weeks ago and I think that is five straight over 100 and he is coming on, playing really good football for us," he said.
When Del Rio was asked why he picked 150, he said, "I didn't give it that much thought on why 150. It's not a magical number. I can't pretend to take it that far."
Jones-Drew said, "It's a challenge, definitely a challenge. Week after week, you want to please your head coach and please all the players around you."
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