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Raiders-Jaguars preview: Stopping Jacksonville’s defensive front

Jaguars can bring the heat, can Las Vegas take it?

Jacksonville Jaguars v Las Vegas Raiders
Travon Walker
Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders’ offensive line has to bounce back very quickly from their awful performance in a 24-0 loss at the New Orleans Saints last Sunday.

Raiders’ quarterback Derek Carr was sacked four times, hit nine times and basically under constant pressure all game. The Raiders have allowed 17 sacks in seven games.

As they try to bounce back, the challenge will be steep. Yes, the Jacksonville Jaguars (who host the Raiders on Sunday with a 10 a.m. PT kickoff) are not a good team at 2-6. But they can get after the quarterback, led by veteran Josh Allen, Dewuane Smoot and No. 1 overall pick, Travon Walker. They have accounted for 8.5 of Jacksonville’s 14 sacks.

Las Vegas offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi is impressed by the Jaguars’ entire front.

“They really are a talented group. Josh Allen is a very good pass rusher on the edge,” Lombardi told reporters this week. “[Folorunso] Fatukasi on the inside, we’ve played him numerous times in his time with the Jets. They’re big, they’re long, they’re powerful and they’re strong, and they make a lot of negative plays in the backfield. And they do a good job against the run. They can rush the passer. So, again, we’ve actually experienced them. We got to play with them in the preseason, which is beneficial. So, the guys have studied them a little bit, but I think it starts in the film room today. The guys are hard at work kind of studying their habits, looking at their tendencies in terms of pass rushes – how they play the run, what fronts they play. So, we’re getting a head start on that. So, that’s a challenge for the offensive line. And then moving forward, just going up in practice and working the techniques that they have.

“But again, they’re long, they’re fast, they’re strong. So, we’ve got to focus our fundamentals this week, for sure, big time. Whether it’s hand placement, whether that’s punch, and whether that’s our sets. We’ve got to make sure that we’re really good fundamentally moving forward and be consistent with it, because if we’re not on Sunday, then obviously that front is where they can make us pay.”

If the Raiders are going to bounce back from the Saints’ loss, containing the Jaguars’ defensive front is key.