OAKLAND – Terrelle Pryor was the focal point of these Raiders following a stellar regular-season opener. The attention was well deserved.
The quarterback’s creativity was lauded. His improvisational skills excited a frustrated fan base.
The young quarterback played a part in 19-9 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday at the Oakland Coliseum, but defense won this day.
The Raiders shut Jacksonville down, giving up a field goal and a garbage-time touchdown in their home opener. They allowed just 242 yards, a lot of which came with the game in hand. They corralled running backs with solid interior line play and excellent open-field tackling. They tormented quarterback Chad Henne and sacked him 5 times. They covered well downfield.
While the Jaguars offense is pretty bad and struggles to do much of anything, this game shows that a defense with nine new starters is starting to come together. They play well as a unit, and generated pressure to slow the Indianapolis Colts.
While the defense caged Jacksonville’s attack, the Raiders’ power running game kept churning out yards and points. All told, the Raiders had 226 yards rushing. While the Raiders struggled to convert in the red zone, the field goals kept on coming.
The Raiders opened the game with a touchdown. They took an early lead on an 11-yard TD run from fullback Marcel Reece. The Raiders drove 38 yards on five plays, taking advantage of quality field position set up by Phillips Adams’ 30-yard punt return.
McFadden over 100: Raiders running back Darren McFadden broke out with a few big runs against the Jaguars. He had a 24-yard scamper in the second quarter and runs of 30 and 28 yards in the third and 26 in the fourth.
He finished with 129 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. He also had 4 receptions for 28 yards.
Janikowski missed another one: Janikowski rarely misses field goals inside 50 yards. On Sunday, he missed his second in as many games. He sent an attempt wide left from 35 yards out.
Janikowski converted field goals from 46 and 30 and twice from 29 yards out.
Janikowski has dealt with a right calf injury and seems uncomfortable with new holder Marquette King.
Tricks up Olson’s sleeve: Raiders offensive coordinator ran a few surprising plays against the Jaguars. McFadden earned a nine-yard run from a direct snap in the wildcat formation. They also had McFadden throw a long lateral to Pryor, who chucked it downfield to receiver Rod Streater. The play was called back due to an illegal formationpenalty.
Fast(er) start: The Raiders went down by double digits in all four preseason games and last week’s opener, but the Raiders were able to get going early against the Jaguars. They forced a three-and-out, got a 30-yards punt return from Phillip Adams and scored a touchdown on the next drive.
Injury update: Strong safety Tyvon Branch suffered a leg injury in the first half and did not return. He was injured trying to make a tackle and couldn’t leave the field under his own power. He was replaced by Brandian Ross.
Left guard Lucas Nix suffered an ankle injury in the second half and did not return.
Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew suffered an ankle sprain that cut his game short. The Oakland native also injured himself last year while playing his homecoming game.
Sitting it out: The Raiders rendered seven players inactive against the Jaguars, including Quarterback Matt McGloin, cornerback Chimdi Chekwa, offensive tackle Menelik Watson, guard Antoine McClain, receiver Juron Criner, tight end David Ausberry and defensive end Jack Crawford. Watson and Ausberry were ruled out with injury. The rest were healthy scratches.
What's next: The Raiders travel to face quarterback Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos Sept. 23 on Monday Night Football.