The Jacksonville Jaguars host the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 9 of the NFL season. Both teams have just two victories and are depending on one to give them any kind of hope for the rest of the season. Let’s examine the three offensive players who must contribute to a potential Raiders turnaround.
All eyes will be on Raiders OT Kolton Miller
Miller has consistently provided excellent run blocking throughout the season, but his pass protection has been patchy. Miller’s lack of strength at the point of attack makes him vulnerable to power rushers, and it showed as he played poorly against the New Orleans Saints. Miller, who is the captain of the offensive line, needs to lead by example and get back on track against a strong Jaguars front seven.
Miller has another challenging test since the Jaguars have two young pass rushers in Josh Allen and Travon Walker. He’ll be crucial to the Raiders’ passing game because he’s frequently put on an island to pass block by himself. Especially in light of how awful Derek Carr is when under pressure. Nothing is certain, but the Raiders’ offense will be better if Miller performs like his old self against the Jaguars.
Can Davante Adams battle back against the Jaguars?
Adams played in the game against the Saints despite feeling ill. Eventually, that reduced his contribution to the outcome of the contest as he finished with a season-low three yards on one reception. Adams must recover his terminator status against the Jaguars because the Raiders won’t win many games if their premier wideout posts those kinds of stats.
In terms of the quantity of passing yards and completions allowed, the Jaguars’ defense is rated 25th. That means Adams should be targeted early and often, but it is not his responsibility to get involved himself. Carr and Josh McDaniels had better understand that giving the ball to Adams is a surefire way to improve their chances of winning. Adams needs to win his one-on-one matchup, health permitting; if his quarterback and coach recognize this, the Raiders will succeed.
Derek Carr needs to get his legs under him
Carr struggled against the Saints because he was shut out and didn’t even reach Saints territory. We already know who Carr isâ€”a quarterback who relies on nearly flawless conditions all around him to succeed. Carr will have to assume some responsibility this week following Sunday’s shutout loss. Let’s face it, he needs to rise to the occasion if the Raiders still have playoff hopes.
The Jaguars’ front seven is filled with athletes and pass rushers. Obviously, that doesn’t bode well for Carr if his pass protection isn’t up to par. The Raiders have no chance if he allows that to impact him. Instead, he’ll have to use his legs to prolong plays. The unfortunate thing is that despite having one of the league’s best arms and the ability to extend plays with his legs, Carr’s mentality causes his performance to suffer. Carr must perform well against the Jaguars if the Raiders are to have any chance of remaining in the playoff hunt. This offense will depend on him going forward.
*Top Photo: Bobby Ellis/Getty Images