Editor's note: This is the second part in a series that spotlights three Raiders-Jaguars matchups to watch Sunday, 1:25 p.m., at the Oakland Coliseum
[RELATED: Matchup No. 3: Hunter vs. Joeckel]
NT Pat Sims vs. RB Maurice Jones-Drew
Tale of the tape
Sims (90): 6-foot-2, 310 pounds, fifth season, Auburn
Jones-Drew (32): 5-foot-7, 210 pounds, eighth season, UCLA
Pat Sims is the Raiders best interior run stopper. Maurice Jones-Drew prefers to run between the tackles. That makes this a classic matchup of team strengths. Jones-Drew is a big, physical rusher who can wear on a defense and expand his yards per carry as the game progresses.
If Sims can stop him at the line and limit his trips into the defense’s second level, the better the Raiders are going to be. The Jaguars run an up-tempo offense, so Sims won’t have much time to rest between snaps. That could work against a Raider who missed most of training camp with a hamstring injury, but the defensive line will rotate bodies to keep people fresh.
Even with a typical offensive pace, Jones-Drew can wear a defense down with his physical rushing style. That, however, can be countered.
“We can wear him down by putting a big hit on him every time he carries the football,” strong safety Tyvon Branch said. “That all starts with the guys up front, especially in the middle. We need to make every run difficult. That’s how you slow him down.”