Football Nation’s Cold, Hard Football Facts Insider is Extraordinary INSIDE INFORMATION for Betting on Pro Football. CHFF quality stats, Pre and post-game reports and ATS picks for every NFL game week 1 to Super Bowl. If you want to win each week, Click here to check out Insider now.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are going to try to find a little sunshine at the other end of the rainbow out west when they face Oakland on Sunday. Any kind of progress the Jaguars (0-1) make in this game will go a long way toward beating off the vultures of media members ready to write their season off after the first week of the NFL season.
Jacksonville will start Chad Henne for the injured Blaine Gabbert who received 15 stitches in his hand for a laceration he suffered in the loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. He is out this week, according to the Jaguars official website, but it is not known when he will return to the lineup.
In the meantime, this is the seventh start in the last eight games for Henne in Jacksonville.
The Raiders (0-1) are trying to move forward after losing in the final minutes of the game at Indianapolis. Andrew Luck run for 19 yards in the closing moments for a come from behind 21-17 win.
Can Terrelle Pryor, who threw for 217 yards and ran for 112 last week, be the answer in the Raiders’ offense? Can the offensive line hold off the potential pass rush that was nonexistent by the Jaguars last week?
And above everything else, can the Jaguars win on the road, giving head coach Gus Bradley his first win of his coaching career in the NFL?
Here are three bold predictions for this week’s contest between these two AFC foes.
Maurice Jones-Drew runs wild
It’s a return to the scene of the crime for Maurice Jones-Drew. He remembers the game against the Raiders last season and Tommy Kelly tackling him, injuring his foot and putting him out of action.
Now, MJD is healed and although he could not buy a yard against Kansas City, the thought of redemption could drive him to do great things. Could the man some people in Jacksonville questioned being at the end of his rope explode for a huge game.
I think 130 yards and two touchdowns is a real possibility on Sunday.
Joeckel rebounds in a huge way
The first round pick of the Jaguars was used like a wet rag on Sunday by the Kansas City defense. It’s quite possible he had nightmares about Justin Houston this week.
Look for Joeckel to get some help on the right side this week. After such an abysmal start to his career, Joeckel will come out and have a stellar performance against the Raiders?
Jaguars win with Henne
I have been a huge supporter of Henne since he came to Jacksonville and will continue to do so.
I think he is more comfortable in the offense than Gabbert, but because of money, youth and being desperate, Gabbert remains the starter.
If Henne wins and plays well against Seattle, which I do not expect them to win, then there could be rumbling at EverBank Field. But until then, Gabbert is still the starter.
The Jaguars will do everything they can to stop Terrelle Pryor and the defense will need to show improvement, but in the end, Jaguars win 20-16.