There was a lot of laughter and mockery from Raider Nation after DJ Hayden dropped some dimes during the Jaguars’ open media session Wednesday.
“Oh yeah, I been have this game marked,” the former Raider began, “I am excited. They didn’t bring me back. So, know what I’m saying? Gotta make them pay for it.
“Wouldn’t it be nice, be sweet? Just to go in there and just whoop ass. We have to go out there and do it. We can’t talk about it. We have to be about it.”
The memes were aplenty. The dismissal and cackling thunderous.
Confidence is a good thing, no doubt.
But the joke could be on the Oakland Raiders this Sunday — if they’re not careful.
Let’s get the particulars out of the way:
In 12 games played, Hayden is allowing 71.1 percent of passes thrown his way to be completed. Quarterbacks targeting him sport an 87.9 passer rating. Those 27 catches total 243 yards, however, Hayden has not given up a touchdown in coverage and has two sacks to go along with 35 total tackles. Jacksonville’s defense yields 20 touchdowns through the air with linebacker Myles Jacks (now on injured reserve) giving up the most at four.
To put that in perspective, Oakland DB’s with as many games under their belt, the lowest yardage total given up is 299 (Erik Harris), lowest TD allowed 2 (Trayvon Mullen) and rating 89.2 (Mullen). The highest in yards 635 (Daryl Worley), TDs 5 (Worley) and rating 108.1 (Lamarcus Joyner).
While pointing the finger and finding Hayden’s comments comical, the amusement quickly dies when looking at the Raiders’ numbers.
Want to know who the worst cover man in Oakland is?
Linebacker Tahir Whitehead — 79.6 percent completions allowed, 604 yards given up, 6 TDs allowed and an unfathomable 150.3 passer rating when targeted.
Jacksonville’s passing game isn’t a paragon of aerial athletics in the league and leading wide receiver DJ Chark (956 yards, 8 Ts) is ailing and may not play this Sunday. But quarterback Gardner Minshew (15 TDs, 5 interceptions) can scramble and improvise. With a leaky secondary, the Raiders fan base has no business laughing at anyone. Even if the Jaguars are 4-9 and the Raiders are 6-7 overall.
Oakland’s saving grace, however, is Jacksonville’s porous run defense. The Jaguars boast the second-worst in terms of yards (1,834) and touchdowns (19) given up. If you’re curious, the Raiders are 15th (1,404) and 25th (13) in the respective categories.
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Then there’s the matter of pass rush and the Jaguars hold the advantage with 38 sacks compared to the Raiders 27. Rookie Josh Allen is the top Jacksonville sackmaster with 9 while fellow neophyte Maxx Crosby paces Oakland with 7.5. Of course, Allen was taken after Raiders rookie Clelin Ferrell (3.5 sacks) in the first round.
That’s no laughing matter, right, Raider Nation?