OAKLAND, Calif. -- Finding the Jaguars’ top 10 playmakers this week is easier than it was last week -- but not by much.
The Jaguars lost 19-9 to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, but it was a better performance than the season-opening loss to Kansas City. The Jaguars scored a touchdown, for one. And quarterback Chad Henne put up some decent numbers.
Remember, this isn’t a list of MVP candidates, but a compilation of the players who are making the biggest difference each week.
Here we go, with last week’s rankings in parenthesis:
1. WR Cecil Shorts (NR): He tied his career high with eight catches and his 93 yards receiving was the fifth-highest total of his career and the second-most receiving yards he’s had on the road. He was targeted 14 times and is the Jaguars’ top playmaker right now.
2. QB Chad Henne (NR): Yes, 142 of his 241 yards passing came in the fourth quarter with the Raiders comfortably ahead and playing softer coverages. But Henne did lead the Jaguars to their first touchdown of the season and he didn’t turn the ball over. That’s a marked improvement from Blaine Gabbert’s performance in Week 1.
3. WR Ace Sanders (NR): The Jaguars have needed him to make an impact on offense and he finally did with five catches for 64 yards. Again, most of his work came in the fourth quarter (three catches for 59 yards), but he made a key 30-yard catch on a third-and-21 play that kept alive the Jaguars’ only touchdown drive of the season.
4. LB Paul Posluszny (3): He probably would have been higher had the Jaguars not given up 226 yards rushing, including four runs of 27 or more yards. But he did make nine tackles, had one of the team’s three sacks and broke up one pass.
5. P Bryan Anger (2): Dropping three spots is what happens when you punt only eight times for a 43.6 yard average (39.5 net). Joking, obviously, but Anger continues to be a field-position weapon for a team that struggles to consistently move the ball. Plus, he made a nice tackle on the sideline on Phillip Adams.
6. LB Geno Hayes (NR): He led the team with 10 tackles, including one on a third-down screen pass to Rashad Jennings. He did miss an assignment on Terrelle Pryor’s 27-yard run in the second quarter but it was an overall solid performance.
7. S Johnathan Cyprien (7): He’s still not completely sure what he’s doing and he gets out of position sometimes, but boy is he a physical player. He made eight tackles and forced Darren McFadden to fumble. The Jaguars turned that into the team’s only touchdown of the season.
8. CB Alan Ball (NR): He fought through a groin injury that he suffered in practice on Thursday and played solid football. His status wasn’t determined until an hour or so before the game began and he finished with seven tackles.
9. TE Clay Harbor (NR): Gotta have him on the list after he scores the team’s only touchdown of the season. He caught three passes for 34 yards.
10. WR Stephen Burton (9): He did a solid job as a kickoff returner (24.7-yard average on three returns and he ranks 19th through two weeks) and was a part of the passing game for the first time this season. He caught two passes for 23 yards. He also got one carry on an end-around but it went for a 9-yard loss because fullback Will Ta'ufo'ou couldn’t hold his block on defensive end Lamarr Houston.