Heading into Week 2 of the 2013 NFL season, the consensus was the matchup between the Oakland Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars would be a battle of the two worst teams in the league. The Jaguars scored only two points last week in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs while the Raiders have been seemingly written off by everyone before training camp even began.
With Terrelle Pryor showing signs of promise in Week 1 against the Indianapolis Colts, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel for this Raiders team. Although no denies the fact the Raiders are rebuilding, Oakland has played like a team that wants to win with passionate players on both sides of the football.
On Sunday, the Jaguars came to town with the Raiders playing host at O.co Coliseum for the first time this season. Not only would this be the home opener for the storied franchise, but Pryor was also starting for the first time in front of the avid fan base in Oakland.
All eyes were on Pryor heading into Sunday’s game with many people anxious to see what the Ohio State product could do in his second start this season. Although Pryor put up respectable numbers for an inexperienced quarterback learning the ropes with 176 total yards (50 rushing), Darren McFadden stole the show for the Raiders.
McFadden has been plagued by injuries over the past few years and entered into this season in a make or break situation. The veteran running back is playing in the final year of his deal with the Raiders and promised to prove his worth in order to merit a lucrative long-term deal.
In Week 2, McFadden took a step closer to proving his worth by racking up 129 yards on the ground while also catching 4 passes for 28 yards. The Arkansas alum did lose a fumble that could’ve proven to be costly, but it was his best performance in recent memory and hopefully a sign of things to come.
Marcel Reece also chipped on Sunday scoring the team’s only touchdown in the first quarter. Reece signed a three-year contract with Oakland on Friday shortly after asking for more touches. The fullback/running back only had two carries, but managed to make them worth it by getting in the end zone.
Veteran kicker Sebastian Janikowski provided the bulk of the offense for the Raiders against the Jaguars hitting four out of five field goals on the day. Janikowski missed his first attempt from 35 yards early in the game, but redeemed himself going perfect for the rest of the game.
As for the Jaguars, Chad Henne and company simply were outmatched on both sides of the football. The Raiders attacked early, took the lead and never looked back. Oakland was anything but perfect on Sunday with numerous mistakes offensively, but it was a solid overall performance considering the opposition.
The defense was also solid for the Raiders on Sunday with the team recording a season-high five sacks. Usama Young chipped in with a sack and a half while Christo Bilukidi, Brandian Ross and Tracy Porter also got in on the action. Charles Woodson showed he has something left in the tank with an incredible tackle on Maurice Jones-Drew that ended the running back’s day and ignited the defense preventing the Jaguars from scoring.
Jacksonville only managed to score nine points in the contest with kicker Josh Scobee getting the team on the board in the second quarter. Henne threw a touchdown in the fourth to tight end Clay Harbor, but the team went for two and failed miserably.
Unfortunately for the Jaguars, it was too little, too late as the team couldn’t capitalize late in the game with the chances given.
Ultimately, the Raiders ran out the clock and cruised to a victory, 19-9.
In Week 3, the Raiders will be back on the road headed for the Mile High City to take on the division rival Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football.