The Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders are both looking to pick up the pieces after porous efforts in Week 14. It was embarrassing at home, with the Jaguars falling by a score of 45-10 in Jacksonville against the Chargers, and the Raiders losing at home as well by a score of 42-21 against the Titans. Philip Rivers feasted on the Jaguars’ secondary, as he put his problems this season to rest for a day. He passed for 314 yards and 3 touchdowns against a useless Jacksonville defense.
Austin Ekeler had a monster day rushing and receiving, with 100+ yards in both categories. Melvin Gordon also chipped in with 55 rushing yards on 12 carries. There really was no resistance and the Jaguars should be pretty ashamed for how they performed. Gardner Minshew mania didn’t go according to plan either, as he was held to 162 yards with a touchdown pass. The only thing Minshew did right was not throw an interception, but considering they couldn’t move the ball, the ball was going back to the Chargers pretty fast.
Minshew will get the call again this week, while Nick Foles will watch from the sidelines as the backup. The Jaguars signed Foles to a four-year $88-million-dollar contract and less than a year into his deal, he’s sitting on the bench while a sixth-round selection out of Washington State is playing. We really don’t know at this point whether Minshew is full-time starter material, or just a good backup that can be a decent spot starter. It really puts the Jaguars in a tough spot in the offseason, as they clearly have no confidence in Foles.
A GM who would take on his contract in a trade would have to be nuts, but I’m sure the Jaguars will test the market. That could be an easy way for a GM to get fired if Foles gets traded and flops there as well. There are certainly enough GM’s out there who believe Foles is overrated that would make it hard to work out a deal, even though there are some bad quarterbacks starting in 2019. Minshew is under a microscope these final few games.
He failed the first test against the Chargers at home, and now Minshew gets a hostile environment in Oakland to try and impress the front office. It’s only the Raiders, but regardless of the opponent, it’s never easy to fly across the country and play well. Ryan Tannehill set the bar high after he torched the Raiders for 391 yards last week. Fortunately for the Raiders, they will not have to deal with A.J. Brown or Derrick Henry in this one. The rest of the writeup for our Jaguars vs. Raiders pick is below.
NFL Week 15 – Betting Power Rankings
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Oakland Raiders Betting Odds:
Jaguars vs. Raiders Prediction:
The Raiders will be on the road in LA and Denver the next two weeks, marking Sunday the final game that will be played at the Oakland Coliseum. And it’s official this time. We thought that last season was going to be the final game that the Raiders played in Oakland, but the team managed to reach an agreement with the city. They will begin play at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas next season, which appears to be shaping up nicely across the highway from Mandalay Bay on the south end of the Strip. Before they play their first home game in Las Vegas, the Raiders will play one last game at the Coliseum.
I’m sure there will be some attempt to replicate the Black Hole at Allegiant Stadium, but it will be nothing like what they had in Oakland. The fresh paint at Allegiant Stadium will not be able to match the years of stale beer and grittiness at the Coliseum. In any event, there is a reason for mentioning all of this for the Raiders’ matchup against the Jaguars. It’s hard to see the Raiders going out with a sloppy effort in the final game in Oakland.
Especially against an opponent like the Jaguars, we should see a different team than we watched against the Titans last week. The intensity levels are likely going to be kicked up a significant notch to give the home crowd in Oakland a win. Fans were leaving in droves early against the Titans last week, but it will likely be a different scene against the Jags on Sunday.
The Jaguars have put a non-competitive productive on the field the past five weeks. The Texans, Colts, Titans, and Buccaneers all blew the Jaguars out by a comfortable margin. That comfortable margin equates to an average score of 23.4 points. Their only wins since October 20th have come against the Bengals and Jets. The Bengals and Broncos are the only teams that the Jags have defeated on the road this season.
Jacksonville are in the bottom-5 of the league offensively. They’ve notched just 17.7 points per game heading into the Coliseum. Minshew and company do not have the best defense across from them in this one. They’ll be staring at a pretty porous defense who’ve yielded 376.4 yards per game, but their defense has nothing going for themselves, either. Minshew may be down a pretty important target in DJ Chark as well. Chark led the Jaguars with 75 yards receiving last week. He is travelling with the team to Oakland, but hasn’t practiced this week.
While the Oakland defense has been weak this season, I’m expecting an extra boost as a result of this being the final game being played at the Coliseum. There hasn’t been much for the Raiders to get jacked up for this season, but that should be able to give them enough motivation to perform well here. It’s not like they have to defend the best of offenses in this spot. Also note that Josh Jacobs’ MRI on his shoulder came back clean, so he is expected to return to the lineup for the Raiders on Sunday. I just can’t see the Jaguars spoiling the final party at the Oakland Coliseum on Sunday. Expect the Raiders to come through with a win and cover over the Jaguars.