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Monday, December 13, 2010
Moving on: Oakland Raiders

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Here are some areas the Oakland Raiders need to focus on after a 38-31 loss at Jacksonville:

Recap: The Raiders lost a tough game to the Jaguars. This was a close game with some good signs shown by the Raiders. But, in the end, Oakland could not outlast the Jaguars, dropping its record to 6-7 and severely damaging its playoff hopes.

Biggest area to fix: run defense. Oakland has given up big plays on the ground all season. Sunday was no different. Jacksonville had 234 yards rushing on 34 carries, and it was a big reason Jacksonville outscored Oakland 31-14 in the second half. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Jacksonville’s success on the ground helped the pass tremendously. Jaguars quarterback David Garrard had a passer rating of 156.3 and he threw two touchdown passes using play-action.

Biggest area to build on: the play of Darren McFadden. Oakland’s tailback has been brilliant at times this season. He had three long touchdowns against the Jaguars. Two came on the ground and one was as a receiver. According to ESPN Stats & Information, McFadden was even better when the Jaguars stacked eight defenders in the box. He averaged 11.4 yards per carry when the Jaguars stacked eight in the box.

What to watch for: The Raiders hope to keep their playoff dreams alive with a win over visiting Denver on Sunday. Yes, those same Broncos who Oakland crushed 59-14 in Denver in October. These are two teams headed in different directions. I smell another laugher.