Originally published on Silver & Black Report on Sept. 13, 2013
After suffering a late-game loss to the Indianapolis Colts, the Raiders (0-1) return to Oakland to host the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) for their home-opener.
Oakland is currently six-point favorites in Las Vegas, but as everyone knows, anything can happen on any given Sunday.
With that said, lets take a look at some key matchups the Raiders will have to win in order pull off their first victory of the 2013 NFL season.
Terrelle Pryor vs. Jacksonville Defense
Pryor was able to show his athleticism as a dual threat against the Colts by throwing for 217 yards while rushing for 112 yards on the ground. In fact, Pryor's 112 rushing yards is currently good enough for second in the NFL behind Philadelphia's Lesean McCoy.
It will be interesting to see if the Jaguars make sure to keep a man "spying" on Pryor at all times, leaving one less defender in coverage. If the Jaguars do decide to keep more men in the box, Pryor will be forced to beat the defense in the air and must find a way to limit any turnovers. Pryor threw two interceptions last week.
Darren McFadden vs. Jacksonville Defense
If the Raiders can get McFadden going it will be greatly beneficial for the offense and also ease Pryor's efforts. McFadden had just 48 yards on 17 carries last week in Indianapolis, but did score on a goal-line touchdown.
McFadden getting hot will take some pressure off of Pryor and especially help on the read-option play if Pryor is able to hand the ball off to McFadden and have him bust a big one. With this ability, the defense will have a hard time containing both Pryor and McFadden.
Raiders defensive line vs Jacksonville offensive line
Oakland was able to find a pass rush in Indianapolis and would love to build on their four-sack performance against the Colts.
With starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert out due to injury, Chad Henne gets the nod for the start for the Jaguars. Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston and company will look to apply pressure and possibly force Henne to turn the ball over and give the Raiders extra possessions.
Raiders defense vs. Maurice Jones-Drew
With wide receiver Justin Blackmon still out due to his suspension, Bay Area native Maurice Jones-Drew will likely be the centerpiece for the Jaguars' offense.
MJD will no doubt be looking to impress in front of his hometown crowd after getting injured against the Raiders last season. Not to mention it being a contract year for him.
The Raiders linebacking corps will need to do a good job of maintaining their gaps to not allow Jones-Drew to gain too many yards. Nick Roach and the linebackers will also have to keep an eye out for screens and any other play that gives Jones-Drew the opportunity to have the ball in the open field. Stopping MJD will go a long way in stopping the Jaguars' offense.
Tracy Porter vs Jaguars receivers
New Raiders cornerback Tracy Porter struggled in last week's game while covering Colts' wide receiver Reggie Wayne. Porter gave up six receptions for 72 yards and one touchdown in the first half alone.
Porter will need to play better this week or else Henne will target him primarily as Andrew Luck did last week. Granted, we don't know how the rest of the secondary will play but Porter playing well will help in shutting down a Jaguars passing attack that threw for only 107 yards last week.
With Porter and the corners playing well, the Raiders could put their safeties into the box more often allowing more assistance in stopping Jones-Drew and the Jaguars' rushing attack.