Kevin C. Cox
What do the fates have in store for our beloved Raiders this week against Jacksonville?
Greetings, Raider fans! It is I, RaiderDamus, the man of the hour, too bold to cower, the tower of power too sweet to be sour. The fates have revealed to me what shall befall our dear Raiders this week as they host the Jaguars, and as is our custom here I shall reveal all to you.
If you peruse any mock NFL drafts this week, you may find that the Jaguars are often listed in the top spot. This means that most experts feel that they are in fact, the worst team in football. Worse than the Browns, worse than the Chiefs, worse than the Raiders. Guess what the Chiefs, Jags and Browns all have in common? (pause for dramatic effect) Those teams, as of today, have a combined four remaining games to play against the Raiders. The eternal dream of winning five games is not dead after all.
You also may notice, should you pay attention to these aforementioned mock drafts, that they usually have the Jags taking a quarterback such as Matt Barkley or Geno Smith. This is because Blaine Gabbert sucks. He was a system quarterback in an extreme spread at Missouri. Here are some other recent system quarterbacks to come out of college: Darron Thomas, Case Keenum, Kellen Moore, Graham Harrell. Those guys all put up monster numbers, like Gabbert, and won a lot of games, like Gabbert. What do those guys have in common? They all went undrafted.
You see, smart teams understand that you don't just take some kid from a system where they throw the ball 60 times a game and stick him on an NFL team where he will be lucky to throw 35. It usually doesn't work. Gabbert is a big, strong kid with a good arm but he's a square peg in a round hole in Jacksonville. He went from the spread to the complete opposite: Jacksonville's rush-first, ball control offense with dreadful wide receivers.
I have followed the Jaguars for a number of years, and I can tell you it is no coincidence that their downfall occurred the second Jimmy Smith retired. The Jags have Justin Blackmon now, but their offense is such a dumpster fire that I can't see him being used effectively. Remember, he's a spread receiver like Michael Crabtree was. If the Jags are smart, they will fire whomever they have now (apparently Mike Mularkey, who has a long and glorious history of being totally mediocre) and make a run for Chip Kelly at the end of the year. That being said, nobody ever accused the Jaguars of being smart.
This, being a home game, is thankfully not one of the five games the Raiders have to play on the East Coast this year. My hope is that the Raiders, fresh off a near upset of the normally impervious Falcons at home, have found themselves and are establishing some sort of identity on both sides of the ball. The Raiders' resume would look weird this year with losses to the derp of the league and victories over the Steelers and Falcons, but that's what we ought to be looking at. Instead we get a chance to salvage our crap sandwich of a season against the worst team in professional football (no, USC does not technically count as professional). We should come out of top.
Raiders win, 29-13.