NFL Week 2: Why the Oakland Raiders Will Have a Big Game Against the Jacksonville Jaguars

Oakland's Excitement, Jacksonville's Ineptness Should Mean a Victory for Raiders

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | Terrelle Pryor has already made his case as the most exciting new player in the NFL, and the Oakland Raiders may have finally found the quarterback they've been looking for.

After a roller coaster preseason where he shined against the Chicago Bears and skidded the very next week against the Seattle Seahawks, it was very unclear how Pryor would fare once the regular season started.

All we knew was that Matt Flynn was not going to be the starter after watching Oakland's offensive line.

But after an electrifying performance against the Indianapolis Colts where he set the franchise record for most rushing yards in a game by a quarterback, Pryor now has teams studying him harder than ever.

After all, he leads the AFC in rushing.

Despite Pryor's surprising performance, Oakland still lost the game 21-17 and started the season 0-1 once again. But in dissecting the loss comes several smaller victories the Raiders have to build on.

And with arguably the worst team in the NFL coming to town for their home opener, the Raiders are sure to put on another surprising performance. Here's why:

Jacksonville Has No Experience Stopping the Read-Option

Ah, the read option. It's one of the greatest offensive strategies in the NFL today, and has transformed the quarterback position in a way that never seemed possible.

Pryor did a stellar job keeping plays alive with both his arm and his legs as he ran the Colts' defense ragged last week. Just ask linebacker Robert Mathis.

"Use all your bullets, throw the gun, throw the belt holder, too," Mathis said about trying to defend Pryor. (via

Matt Schaub, Andrew Luck and Jake Locker are not read-option quarterbacks. When playing against their divisional opponents, the Jaguars don't have to worry about defending a quarterback who's going to burn them with his legs.

Pryor threw for over 200 yards and ran for over 100 yards against Indianapolis. Just imagine the possibilities he'll have against Jacksonville.

The Jaguars are completely one-dimensional

I still don't know what the Jaguars see in quarterback Blaine Gabbert. The guy is just terrible, and he ha any hasn't gotten any better. It speaks volume as to how bad Chad Henne must be since Gabbert was given the starting job before the season even started.

Even with Gabbert out, Jacksonville's offense is still pretty bad. Even its workhorse Maurice Jones-Drew only averaged three yards per carry against the Chiefs, but you're not going to run the ball when you're losing the entire game either.

The Jaguars averaged an embarrassing 2.5 yards per play against Kansas City and only crossed midfield twice. I couldn't make those numbers up even if I wanted to.

With Andrew Luck being the quarterback he is, the Raiders were reluctant to give him any sort of opening downfield, which is why the Colts did a solid job running the ball against them.

But Chad Henne is no Andrew Luck.

Oakland will be able to focus more on Jones-Drew and make Henne work for every single yard. Jacksonville also gave up six sacks against the Chiefs, which means Henne could be running a lot against the Raiders.

The fans are excited in Oakland

Nobody expected the Raiders to keep it close against the Colts, let alone have the lead in the fourth quarter. But that's exactly what happened.

Pryor single-handedly gave Raider Nation something to be excited about after his performance, and now he'll make his first career start at home in front of a sold out Coliseum.

The Jaguars gave the Raiders everything they could handle last year after Oakland escaped with a 26-23 overtime victory, but that was last year. This is a completely new Raiders team that played with tremendous heart against the Colts.

Though it's only Week 2, Oakland can make some noise with a big win, albeit against the lowly Jaguars.

Steven Slivka is a freelance writer for the Oakland Raiders. You can follow him on Twitter @StevenSlivka.

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