What We Learned: Jaguars vs. Raiders

The main thing that we learned from the Jaguars 49-11 victory against the Oakland Raiders Sunday is that the Raiders had already mailed in the game prior to making the trip to Jacksonville. At no point in the game did they resemble a professional football team at any level, and the Jaguars would have likely played a closer game if a good college team came to town.

Five most important things for the Jaguars:

    1. Play smart football. The Jaguars played a smart game for the most part, but they did turn the ball over twice--once on a Reggie Nelson interception, then fumble, and once on a David Garrard interception on the goal line. Jacksonville had six penalties for 42 yards which is neither great nor terrible.

    2. Run, run, and more run. The Jaguars executed their powerful running game by racking up 201 yards on 28 attempts. They made it look easy.

    3. Keep the opposing quarterbacks in the pocket. It really didn't matter much what the Oakland quarterbacks did in this game. They were terrible and couldn't move the ball effectively.

    4. There's still work left to do. The Jaguars started off quickly and the game was over by the end of the first quarter. A very mature performance.

    5. Get Garrard back on track. David Garrard had a nice day, completing 11 of 18 passes for 199 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. The interception is a bit troubling as it came in the end zone and it was a terrible read. Other than that one play, Garrard's play was very good.

What to look for:

    1. Fred Taylor in triple digits. Freddy T. only received seven carries on Sunday, but he did manage to break off 111 yards and a touchdown, 62 of which came on the first play of the game. If Taylor would've had more opportunities, he could have ran for over 200.

    2. A return by Maurice Jones-Drew to the end zone. Jones-Drew did return to the end zone on the Jaguars second possession as he had a 14-yard touchdown scamper. MJD finished with 44 yards rushing on just 10 carries, and caught six passes for 96 yards.

    3. Look for JaMarcus Russell to throw his first NFL interception. Russell not only threw his first interception, but his second and third. Jaguars safety Jamal Fudge dropped a would be fourth interception.

    4. Fast times. Oakland linebacker Thomas Howard and Jacksonville linebacker Justin Durant didn't disappoint. Howard and Durant both led their respective teams with seven and eight tackles respectively, and both were all over the field.

    5. Look for a big special teams play. The Jaguars ran a reverse on a punt return from Dennis Northcutt to Scott Starks and nearly scored, as Starks took the return 56 yards to the Raiders two-yard line, setting up one of seven Jaguars touchdowns.


Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of JagNation.com, and a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports.com, Sirius NFL Radio, MySpace Sports and Sportsillustated.com. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, and is a columnist for the New Smyrna Observer. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.



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