Raiders vs Jaguars week 2 game preview

Jason O. Watson

What was originally billed by many as "Clowney Bowl" looks to have the Jaguars favored to "win". That's because to win the Clowney Bowl they must lose to the Raiders. For those unfamiliar, Jadeveon Clowney is the projected best player in the land in college football - although some think perhaps Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater will take the top spot -- and therefore the projected number one pick of some (un)lucky team.

The Raiders not only have a real shot at winning their home opener but are the heavy favorite. Going from being ranked as the worst team in football by almost everyone to being favored by six points in week two seems hard to believe.

The Raiders actually made a game of it against the Colts in week one while the Jaguars were completely embarrassed by the Chiefs. And just like that, the Raiders are no longer expected to go 0-16. They are at very least expected to win this week's game.

The Jaguars were bad enough before losing their starting quarterback in week one. Then again, one can look at it in terms of it only getting better based on how they played last year and last week.

The quarterback taking over is former Dolphin starter, Chad Henne. Henne came in the game for Gabbert last season when the team played the Raiders and didn't do much. The Raiders only beat three teams last season and the Jaguars were one of them.

Henne has played the Raiders one other time in his career. It was 2010 when he was with the Dolphins and he threw for 307 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Dolphins beat the Raiders 33-17 that day.

Greg Olson knows Henne pretty well. Olson was the Jaguars quarterbacks coach last season where Henne appears in 10 games, starting the final six.

This is similar to last week with Jason Tarver. He was the co-defensive coordinator at Stanford in 2011 while Colts offensive coordinator, Pep Hamilton, and quarterback Andrew Luck were there. That gave him some insight on what to expect from them and the Raiders defense played considerably well as a result.

It's hard to judge how the Jaguars will handle Terrelle Pryor because the last time they faced off against a quarterback with his mobility was two seasons ago. That season they faced the Panthers and Cam Newton and the Buccaneers and Josh Freeman.

The Panthers beat them 16-10 with Cam Newton throwing less than 50% with one touchdown and running for 27 yards. The Jaguars lost mainly because, outside of Maurice Jones-Drew, they could do nothing on offense.

When they faced the Buccanneers, they lit them up to the tune of 41-14. They picked off Freeman twice while he had a rushing touchdown. Freeman isn't as athletic as Pryor but is a better passer. The Jaguars offensive coordinator that season? Greg Olson.

As far as passing is concerned, Pryor must take advantage of the Jaguars secondary. They were weak before and then lost one of their starters to injury last week. They were so desperate that third round pick Dwayne Gratz had earned a starting job opposite Alan Ball. With Gratz out, seventh round rookie Demetrius McCray is expected to get the start. Pryor will be expected to have his best passing performance against this group of cornerbacks.

Both teams are having offensive line issues that are stunting the running game. Last week Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew both averaged exactly 2.8 yards per carry. The team that can get things going on the ground could be the one who has the advantage.

Another area both teams have an issue is tight end. The Raiders are without David Ausberry still and the Jaguars are without their starting tight end, Marcedes Lewis.

The game is sold out so it will be televised locally. The fans will show up to see some excitement as the Raiders will see what looks to be their easiest matchup of the season. A win is expected. A loss and... wuh oh.

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