Oakland Raiders: Path to the Playoffs-Part 4

The stretch run begins!

As the 2010 season draws to a close, the Oakland Raiders will be hunting a playoff berth. The final four games aren't the most difficult of the season, but there are some tough teams to play, and the wear and tear of the weekly grind will be taking its toll on this young team.


Week 14: at the Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars are one of those teams that can beat anyone if they bring the right intensity.

Stopping Maurice Jones-Drew will be the key, but that's no easy task. Jones-Drew is 5'8", 205 pounds of talent and fury. Tackling him is like trying to tackle a bowling ball! Arm tackles and missed gap responsibilities will result in a lot of yards and points for the Jaguars.

The Jaguars are not known as a great passing offense, but they still have some receiving weapons that can hurt you if you neglect them. Mike Sims-Walker and Kassim Osgood both played very well last season, and with another year to grow and learn, they will be even better. The Raiders must not allow themselves to lose focus on their coverage responsibilities by spying the backfield looking for the run.

Oakland must stay committed to the run on offense.

Jacksonville plays the run fairly well and they've added a pretty good rookie in Tyson Alualu. However, without at least the appearance of a commitment to the run, Jason Campbell won't be able to exploit the relatively weak Jaguars secondary. Rasheen Mathis is a good cornerback and if he doesn't have to worry about supporting the run, he can play free and make plays for his team.

When all is said and done, I think the jet lag of flying to the East Coast, the stout Jaguars defense, and the grind of the 12 previous games will result in a surprise victory for the Jaguars.

Projection: Raiders-14  Jaguars-20


Week 15: the Denver Broncos

Just like in Week Seven...

About the Author