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Raiders-Jaguars: 5 things to watch Sunday as Las Vegas tries to bounce back

Jacksonville is extremely beatable, but can Las Vegas actually beat them?

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at New Orleans Saints
Derek Carr
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Raiders will get a chance to wipe away the stink of their 24-0 loss at the porous New Orleans Saints on Sunday at the woeful 2-6 Jacksonville Jaguars. Kickoff is at 10 a.m. PT Sunday.

Here are five things to watch:

Protect Derek Carr:

The Raiders had a ton of problems on offense at New Orleans, their first shutout since Carr’s rookie season in 2014, but rebounding begins with improved protection of the quarterback. Carr was sacked four times and he was hit nine times against the Saints. The team’s better offensive linemen, left tackle Kolton Miller and center Andre James, had rough games. It’s clear that Carr is at his best when he has time. If the Jaguars get to Carr consistently, the offensive woes could continue.

Early-down success:

The Raiders struggled on both offense and defense on first down against the Saints. The Saints averaged 7.3 yards on first down and the Raiders averaged just 2.5 yards on first down, which was the lowest in the league Sunday. It was a big reason why the Raiders didn’t enter New Orleans territory until 3:14 remained in the game. When the Raiders had success on offense in their three games prior to the Saints game, they were succeeding on early down. They need to revert back to that formula.

Houston Texans v Las Vegas Raiders
Maxx Crosby
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Get Maxx Crosby going:

Maxx Crosby is not a player to worry about. He always gives high effort and he will make his plays. But Crosby, an early-season NFL Defensive Player of the Year candidate, has been pretty quiet in the past two games. He has just two quarterback hits in the past two games and hasn’t had a sack since Week 5. Crosby must get to to Jaguars’ quarterback Trevor Lawrence. He tends to make mistakes when uncomfortable. The Raiders need to rebound a great player like Crosby can be that spark plug.

Make Davante Adams priority:

Adams is like Crosby on the offense. The Raiders need a bounce-back game from him. Adams had just one catch for three yards against the Saints. The Raiders need to start the passing game with Adams and they need to get him the ball as much as possible.

Adams is having a good year, but it hasn’t been a great season yet. He needs to take over against the weak Jaguars.

Be better on the road:

The Raiders are winless on the road at 0-4 (Las Vegas is 2-1 at home). If they are going to get back into the AFC playoff picture, they’re going to have win on the road at some point. This is the perfect time against a porous opponent. If the Raiders lose this one, their slight playoff chances will essentially disappear.