Bay Area

Raiders vs. Jaguars: Darren McFadden, defense earn the win

Now we know who the worst team in the NFL is — and it’s not the Oakland Raiders!

The Silver and Black hosted the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2 and won convincingly 19-9. In a game dubbed by many as the “Toilet Bowl,” Terrelle Pryor and his teammates demonstrated to critics why they shouldn’t flush 2013 just yet.

Darren McFadden was the offensive star rushing 19 times for 129 yards in addition to four receptions. It was his largest ground total since Week 3 in 2011 (when he gained 171 versus the New York Jets), and his performance gave fans optimism that his best may still be yet to come. Pryor had 50 rushing yards of his own, and the Raiders offense totaled 226(!) while averaging 6.6 per carry. Offensive coordinator Greg Olsen was clearly committed to the run as Oakland attempted only 24 passes.

On the other side of the ball, Jacksonville failed to find a rhythm playing without starters Justin Blackmon (suspension), Marcedes Lewis (calf) and Maurice Jones-Drew, who left in the second quarter with an ankle injury.

The talented Jaguars offensive line struggled to gain leverage on the Raiders patchwork front as the team gained 1.8 yards-per-rush and surrendered five sacks. Jittered quarterback Chad Henne did his receivers no favors with several poorly-placed throws before leading his team to their first touchdown of the season with 2:53 in the fourth quarter. 

The Jaguars shot themselves in the foot all afternoon, primarily with their 10 penalties for 70 yards. Three of them gave the Raiders a fresh set of downs, including an offside error on a punt that eventually yielded a field goal. Oakland made plenty of their own mistakes (seven flags, a missed 35-yard field goal) but gathered composure when it mattered most.

That made the difference between the second-worst team in the league and the Jaguars. Raider Nation should enjoy the win, but it’s only getting tougher from here.

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Rui Thomas

Rui Thomas is an NFL and NBA aficionado whose credits include Yahoo! Sports, FanNation, GoldenGateSports and He also owns the Rui sympathizes with every West Coast team.

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