I admit I have an unhealthy reverence for teams coming off a bye week.
I want to believe they are a better team off the bye week. I want to believe they have righted their wrongs during the bye week.
I want to believe their wide receivers will stop dropping a league high 12.8 percent of their passes.
But most importantly, I want to believe the coaching staff understands they have last year's league leading rusher on their team.
Are you listening Jacksonville Jaguars?
The Oakland Raiders are coming off a devastating loss to the unbeaten Atlanta Falcons.
The Raiders played three quarters well enough to win. Unfortunately, a last second field goal eliminated three good quarters.
So both the Jaguars and the Raiders enter the game 1-4.
The Jaguars are last in the league in total offense, last in the league in total passing and last in the league scoring, averaging a paltry 13.0 points per game.
The Raiders' offense is ranked 29th averaging 17.4 points per game.
Neither defense is lighting up the league either. Raiders' defense have collected four sacks this season. The Jaguars' defense has the NFL-low three sacks this season.
Both teams need to exhibit bold plays Sunday. But before then here are three bold predictions on how they will make this happen.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis will equal his season touchdown output
Last year Lewis had an abysmal year. The year before he was a Pro Bowl caliber tight end. Now is the time for Lewis to revert to the promise he has shown.
Lewis will gain 75 yards. But more importantly he will have two touchdowns against the Raiders' defense.
2. Darren McFadden will double his average yards per game and equal his touchdown total
The Jaguars rank 30th against the run. However on the road their run defense ranks 19th. On the road the Jaguars are allowing 123.5 yards per game.
McFadden is averaging 3.2 yards per carry. He has a total of two touchdown in five games.
Against the Jaguars, McFadden will amass 125 total yards. He will also see the end zone twice.
3. Blaine Gabbert will show the promise the Jaguars have invested in him
Last year Gabbert was the focus of much talk. None of it good.
This preseason Gabbert was the focus of more talk. Much of it good.
This season Gabbert has passed for 796 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions. His completion rating is 54.8 percent. Yes, his wide receivers are dropping a league leading 12.8 percent of the passes coming their way.
Gabbert is steadier in the pocket. He now needs to become steady with his receivers.
Against the Raiders, Gabbert will throw two touchdowns with one interception. He will also rush for 50 yards.
The Jaguars will discover giving the ball to Maurice Jones-Drew is just good business. That isn't a bold prediction it's just good sense.
The Jaguars will leave the Black Hole establishing an offense but losing by three, 21-24.
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